Longtime leader of American Airlines steps down as chairman

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — American Airlines said Thursday that Doug Parker, who served as CEO for more than eight years before stepping down last year, will retire as chairman on April 30.

The new chairman will be Greg Smith, who spent more than 30 years at Boeing including the last 10 as chief financial officer.

Smith’s duties at Boeing included oversight of manufacturing and quality programs during development and rollout of the 737 Max, which was grounded worldwide after two deadly crashes. He briefly served as interim CEO after Dennis Muilenburg was ousted in late 2019.

Smith, 56, retired from Boeing in a surprise move in early 2021, then joined American’s board in January 2022.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 22: American Airlines CEO Doug Parker joins fellow airline executives, union heads and politicians for a news conference to call on Congress to pass an extension of the Payroll Support Program to save thousands of travel jo

Parker, 61, was CEO of US Airways when he engineered a 2013 merger that put him and his executive team in charge of American Airlines, which was just emerging from bankruptcy protection.

Parker’s tenure as CEO was mostly a highly profitable period for American, but the airline struggled with more debt than its rivals, even before the pandemic that devastated the U.S. travel industry in early 2020. Also, American’s relations with its labor unions worsened, and the federal government sued to kill a partnership with JetBlue in the New York and Boston. Robert Isom succeeded Parker as CEO last March.

American also announced that longtime board members Ray Robinson and Jim Albaugh will not seek re-election this spring.