Delta Air Lines Inc.'s new chief said he will take direct responsibility for the carrier's operations and won't appoint a chief operating officer.
Richard Anderson, who took over as chief executive officer Sept. 1, will now oversee plane maintenance and customer service. Newly promoted President Ed Bastian will be in charge of revenue and marketing functions. The six other members of the leadership team will report to either Anderson or Bastian.
The move, announced Friday, gives Anderson more direct control over the day-to-day operations of the airline. US Airways Group Inc. appointed an operating chief Thursday, 11 months after saying it would go without one, as it tries to improve upon the industry's worst service and on-time ratings.
"Richard has tons of operational experience, and it's something he is very passionate about," Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said.
Delta's leadership team also includes Executive Vice Presidents Mike Campbell, Ken Khoury, Joe Kolshak, Glen Hauenstein and Lee Macenczak and Senior Vice President Shirley Bridges. Bridges is Delta's chief information officer.
The carrier is seeking a chief financial officer to succeed Bastian after his promotion to president.
Delta's former chief operating officer was James Whitehurst, who resigned Aug. 29 after he was passed over for the chief executive post.
US Airways, the seventh-largest U.S. carrier, hired former Northwest Airlines Corp. executive Robert Isom for the operating chief role.
"What a COO would do at US Airways vs. Delta may be very different," said Michael Boyd, president of The Boyd Group Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. "It's not unusual for an airline CEO to be responsible for operations."
Delta shares declined 45 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $17.62 Friday in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.
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