NEW YORK (AP) – Richard Anderson, who oversaw Delta Air Lines’ transformation into one of the world’s most profitable airlines, will retire this May. His right-hand man, airline president Ed Bastian, will take over as CEO.
Anderson started as CEO in 2007, just after Delta exited bankruptcy protection. The next year, Delta merged with Northwest Airlines and he oversaw the integration, which was often cited as a model for future airline mergers, some of which did not go as smoothly.
Anderson would go on to lead Delta to purchase a 49 percent ownership stake in Virgin Atlantic to gain much-needed access to London and to buy an oil refinery, an unconventional move that gave the carrier more insight into the jet fuel market.