American Airlines hires chief technology officer

Ganesh Jayaram

American Airlines has hired Ganesh Jayaram as its new executive vice president and chief technology officer.

Jayaram was hired from Illinois-based John Deere & Co., where he held several key leadership roles, including vice president of information technology and vice president of corporate strategy and business development.

American CEO Robert Isom said Jayaram will have responsibility over the the airline’s technology operations and strategic business objectives. He joins American on Sept. 1.

“Ganesh has a proven ability to drive innovation in large, complex global organizations that are focused on operational reliability,” Isom said in a statement. “His leadership style, global expertise and success in building and implementing both business and technology strategy will serve him incredibly well as he steps in to lead our technology team.”

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Jayaram will arrive as American and the airline industry struggle with the challenges of pilot and other worker shortages, which have led to widespread flight delays and cancellations and elimination of some routes.

Among his duties, he will help shape a strategy for technology to drive customer and employee experience and satisfaction.

Jayaram has spent the past 15 years with John Deere. Since 2016, he has served as the tractor company’s chief information officer. Prior to Deere, he worked at Danaher Corp. and Canon USA Inc.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in technology from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), and a doctorate in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University.

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Jayaram will succeed Maya Leibman, who previously announced she would be relocating to London for family reasons. Leibman will assist with the transition through the end of the year. She will take on a new role for American with international responsibilities in 2023.

Leibman joined American in 1994 and has served as the airline’s chief information officer since 2012.

“Maya has been a central leader in American’s evolution over the past decade,” said Isom. “Her leadership has left an imprint on our entire organization, and we are thankful for all that she has done. She has set us up well for this transition and we look forward to her continued leadership at American.”