FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines Chairman and CEO Don Carty today announced the appointment of Gerard J. Arpey, 43, as President and Chief Operating Officer for the airline. Arpey was previously Executive Vice President - Operations.
Arpey will have responsibility for most of the operating units of the airline, including Flight, Maintenance and Engineering, American Eagle, AA Cargo, airport Customer Service and field operations, as well as the company’s System Operations Control center (SOC). Arpey will continue to report directly to Carty, as will Marketing and Planning, Finance, Information Technology Services, Legal, Human Resources and Government Affairs.
“The AMR Board of Directors and I have enormous confidence in Gerard’s operational skills, management ability and broad knowledge of the airline business,” Carty said. “With 20 years experience at American - covering a range of finance, planning and hands-on operating responsibilities - Gerard has the talent and the instincts to take on this broad new operational assignment. Gerard understands how critically important employees are to the success of American Airlines, and has spent lots of time out across the system very effectively communicating the culture we must have to maintain industry leadership.
“With the retirement of Vice Chairman Bob Baker, it was an opportune moment to reorganize the reporting structure in ways that will ultimately tighten and enhance American’s operational effectiveness,” Carty added. Baker retired at the end of March.
Arpey has spent the past two years running the major operating units of the company, including Flight, Maintenance and Engineering, American Eagle, AA Cargo and SOC, which is responsible for all operations planning, dispatch, crew resource and flight management systems. Now all airport and field operations will report to him, as well.
“Gerard’s instinctive operational talents have been clearly evident during the challenging past several months, and he has shown himself to be an effective and motivating leader,” Carty said. “He and I have worked closely since his earliest days at American, and this is the next logical progression in that partnership. “
Arpey joined American in 1982 as a financial analyst after receiving his MBA from the University of Texas, where he also received his BBA. He held a series of positions of increasing responsibility in the areas of finance and planning, and served as the company’s Senior Vice President for Finance and Planning and Chief Financial Officer from 1995-1999. He was appointed Executive Vice President - Operations in 2000.
Arpey holds a multi-engine instrument flight rating from the Federal Aviation Administration. He and his wife, Lisa, have a daughter and twin sons and live in Colleyville, Texas.