US Airways has announced that it has filled two vacant management positions and will consolidate the two top positions of its wholly owned subsidiaries Allegheny and Piedmont Airlines.Kathleen Jackson Harris has been named US Airways’ vice president and deputy general counsel, a position that has been vacant for approximately one month.
Keith D. Houk will take on the responsibilities of president and chief executive officer of the combined Allegheny/Piedmont Airlines following the retirement of Piedmont President and Chief Executive Officer John F. Leonard on March 31, 2004.
Frank Cortez has been named managing director of US Airways’ Philadelphia Airport operations, filling a recently vacated position.
Harris’ and Cortez’s appointments are effective immediately.
As vice president and deputy general counsel, Harris is responsible for general corporate matters, including corporate compliance, internal audit, Sarbanes-Oxley implementation and environmental issues.
Prior to joining US Airways, Harris was a member of General Electric’s legal department for 11 years, and most recently held the position of senior counsel, global compliance and acquisition integration for GE Energy. During the course of her career, Harris has held key legal and compliance positions in the Auto Financial Services business of GE Capital in Illinois, Singapore and Ireland, and was assistant general counsel of the Philadelphia Gas Works. She was an associate in the financial services group with Blank Rome Comisky & McCauley, and a second vice president at Chase Manhattan Bank. Harris started her legal career as a corporate associate at Weil Gotshal & Manges in New York.
“Kathleen has more than 20 years of experience in corporate law and has successfully demonstrated her talents in a variety of important positions,” said Elizabeth K. Lanier,
US Airways executive vice president - corporate affairs and general counsel.
“John Leonard has dedicated more than 14 years to the US Airways Express division and has contributed greatly to the successes of Piedmont Airlines. We will miss his leadership and wish him the best in his retirement,” said Bruce Ashby, president of US Airways Express.
Ashby added that Houk’s knowledge of regional airline operations is unequaled in the industry. “Keith is a highly respected and valuable member of this management team, with the skills needed to bring both work groups together to form the most efficient operation,” he said.
Allegheny Airlines is being merged with Piedmont Airlines and will operate under the name Piedmont Airlines, which is headquartered in Salisbury, Md. USÊAirways will continue to consolidate the management teams of both carriers. Houk currently is Allegheny’s president and chief executive officer.
Cortez is now responsible for all of US Airways’ ground functions at Philadelphia International Airport, where US Airways and US Airways Express operate 375 daily nonstop flights.
“Frank is a highly experienced veteran of the aviation industry and a strong leader with a proven track record of managing difficult situations,” said Al Crellin, US Airways executive vice president of operations. “Philadelphia is a cornerstone of the US Airways franchise and is the mainstay to our international and Caribbean network. I can think of no one better to handle this enormous responsibility.”
Cortez has been closely involved with US Airways’ efforts to improve operational performance and customer service at Philadelphia Airport, overseeing a task force of employees formed last summer. US Airways has more than 5,500 active employees in Philadelphia.
During his career, he served in a number of senior-level positions at major companies, including Eastern and Northwest Airlines, Allied Signal Aerospace/Honeywell and Budget Group, Inc. He is a graduate of the University of Houston.