FORT WORTH, Texas - Robert W. Baker, 57, Vice Chairman of American Airlines and one of the aviation industry’s most widely respected executives, today announced his retirement at the end of March.
Baker’s career with American spans 35 years as he rose through the ranks from a marketing associate to the head of the airline’s Operations and ultimately its Vice Chairman. He also served as Chairman and CEO of TWA, LLC during the largest and most successful airline integration in the history of commercial aviation.
“Bob Baker is one of the people who has shaped aviation as we know it today, ” said Don Carty, Chairman and CEO of American. “He has made important and valued contributions across the broad spectrum of airline management.
“We are enormously appreciative of his talent, integrity, intuition, and industry and technical knowledge - as well as his dedication to our company and to all of aviation. On behalf of all American Airlines employees, the AMR Board of Directors, his colleagues on the management team and myself, I express my heartfelt thanks and admiration for more than the three decades he has given this company,” Carty said.
In recent years, Baker has served as the company’s chief liaison to the various federal agencies that deal with commercial aviation. He was asked by President George W. Bush and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta to participate in a special task force following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to help develop and define the appropriate aviation security measures for the nation’s airlines and airports. Former President Clinton also appointed Baker to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Management Advisory Board.
“As a second-generation member of the AA family, it has been an incredible thrill to watch the transition from prop to jet aviation, from manual processes to instantaneous automation and from a highly regulated to a fiercely competitive deregulated environment,” Baker said. “Helping shape today’s industry has been a wonderful life’s work.”
Baker joined American in New York City in 1968 after receiving his MBA from The Wharton School. He holds his Bachelor’s degree from Trinity College.
Baker held a variety of positions in the areas of Marketing, Freight Marketing, Field Services, Information Services and Operations. In 1985, Baker took responsibility for the airline’s Flight Operations, Airport Services and Maintenance and Engineering during a period of rapid growth for American. He became Executive Vice President - Operations in 1989 and Vice Chairman in 2000.
“Bob has in many ways shaped the values and heritage of American Airlines, influencing thousands of careers during his own. We wish him and his wife, Marty, a retirement befitting his distinguished career,” Carty said.