Sunday, August 20, 2017, 1:47 pm

American Airlines makes executive appointments to support teams

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FORT WORTH: American Airlines today announced that two officers have shared their plans to retire later this year:

Loral Blinde, Vice President – People & Team Member Services, will retire from American this summer after completing numerous integration projects

Brian McMenamy, Vice President – Finance, will retire at the end of the year following a 33-year career at American

Additionally, three appointments were announced today as part of American’s succession plan to fill vacant positions: 

Brandon Kahle has been promoted to Vice President – Division Finance, succeeding McMenamy

Jim Fox has been promoted to Vice President – Pricing & Yield Management, a position that is currently open Chris DeGroot has been promoted to Vice President – International Sales

People & Team Member Services

Loral Blinde, Vice President – People & Team Member Services, will leave American this summer after successfully integrating many of the company’s team member policies, processes and systems.

“Loral is a tremendously talented executive and we are grateful to him for agreeing to join American during our quest to integrate our two airlines after the merger,” said Danielle Kirgan, American’s Senior Vice President – People. “He played a critical role in our successful integration and set American on the right path as we improve the quality and delivery of our team member services. Our policy and system integration work, while ongoing, has progressed greatly under Loral’s leadership, and we appreciate all he has contributed to make life better for our more than 100,000 team members.”

Blinde began serving American in 2014 as a consultant and later joined as Vice President to lead the People team during the heaviest phase of integration. He has overseen the launch of American’s Team Member Service Center; a new learning management system; the harmonization of compensation, benefit and 401(k) plans; and led the new HRIS implementation among many other projects. Prior to American, Blinde’s experience included time as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Administration for AirTran Airways, as well as work with Air Canada, Southwest Airlines and Northwest Airlines.

Finance

Brian McMenamy, Vice President – Finance, will retire at the end of the year after 33 years with the company.

“Brian’s career at American has spanned nearly every function in the Finance organization,” said Derek Kerr, American’s Chief Financial Officer. “No matter the job, he has consistently left a positive, lasting impression. He has been a stabilizing force in the Finance group, providing thoughtful guidance and perspective as we merged the organization, and supported the company’s divisions. We appreciate all he has done for American, and all he will continue to do over the next several months to help leave our organization in even better shape.”

McMenamy joined American as an analyst in the Finance group in 1984 and later worked in Corporate Development, Cargo Finance and Canadian Accounting Services. He was also Managing Director of e-Ventures and later, Financial Planning. In addition, he served in officer roles as Vice President – Financial Planning and Analysis of Canadian Airlines International; Senior Vice President – Finance at TWA Airlines LLC; and Vice President and Controller at American Airlines.

Brandon Kahle will succeed McMenamy and serve as American’s Vice President – Division Finance. The Division Finance group partners with departmental leaders throughout the company to ensure American’s team members have the resources to execute on corporate and divisional strategies, and that the airline is making sound investments to better serve its teams and customers. Kahle will report to Devon May, American’s Senior Vice President – Finance.

“Brandon is an incredibly driven leader with great depth and breadth of experience in the Finance organization,” said May. “His understanding of the business, passion and proactive approach will make him a great partner to the division heads across American.”

Kahle joined US Airways in 2005 as part of the Financial Planning team. Most recently he has served as Managing Director & Controller supporting the Commercial, People and Administrative organizations. He is a graduate of Arizona State University where he completed both his undergraduate studies and received his MBA. 

Revenue Management

Jim Fox has been promoted to Vice President – Pricing & Yield Management, a position vacated by Vasu Raja last year when he was appointed as Vice President – Network and Schedule Planning. Fox will oversee the day-to-day pricing and revenue management activities for American’s 2.1 million annual flights. He will report to Don Casey, American’s Senior Vice President – Revenue Management.

“Jim’s background and familiarity with our systems and processes make him well-suited to take on this increased level of responsibility,” said Casey. “Coupled with a strong commitment to leadership development and a drive for results, he is a great fit to continue our momentum.”

Fox began his career in aviation as an officer and pilot with the United States Air Force where he held multiple leadership roles. In 2007, he joined US Airways in Revenue Management and quickly assumed leadership positions in Operations Research. Most recently, he served as American’s Managing Director – Revenue Management responsible for passenger revenue generation for the Miami hub and Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America regions. Fox is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy.

Global Sales

Chris DeGroot has been promoted to Vice President – International Sales to oversee American’s sales strategy and commercial initiatives to drive performance of international flights. He will report to Alison Taylor, American’s Senior Vice President – Global Sales.

“The appointment of Chris into this leadership role coincides with our decision to grow the Global Sales Organization by approximately 130 positions,” said Taylor. “We are designing a team that will be easier for customers to do business with, and Chris’ thoughtful, intelligent and objective approach combined with his multi-functional experience provides an excellent platform for success. He will undoubtedly help us with the vision and dedication needed to accomplish our customer focus and international business goals.”

DeGroot joined American Airlines in 2001. He has since led teams in Distribution Strategy, Finance and Sales Strategy, and has held internationally based roles for American in London and Moscow. He is a graduate of the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and also holds an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at Texas.

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