FORT WORTH, Texas - American Airlines today named Ralph L. Richardi, 54, as Senior Vice President-Customer Services. Richardi, a 26-year veteran of American, has most recently served as Vice President-Operations Planning and Performance.
“Ralph Richardi has an innate appreciation for the people and customers of American Airlines. Through many years in the field and on the operating side of the airline, he has developed incredible people skills and a keen understanding of this business, which will be invaluable in running our extensive airport network,” Chairman and CEO Don Carty said. “Ralph has a reputation for personal integrity and an ability to interact across diverse employee groups that our people respect and appreciate. I can think of no one better prepared to tackle this important challenge.”
Richardi will report directly to American’s President and Chief Operating Officer Gerard Arpey, as will Peter Dolara, Senior Vice President-Miami, Caribbean and Latin America. Richardi is filling a position vacated last week when Dan Garton assumed the role of Executive Vice President-Marketing upon Mike Gunn’s retirement.
At the same time, American announced a series of officer reassignments designed to complement Richardi’s appointment. The changes are:
Robert C. Cordes, 42, becomes Vice President-Operations Planning and Performance, filling Richardi’s former position. He will have responsibility for American’s System Operations Control Center (SOC) as well as crew scheduling, airline dependability and operations engineering. Cordes is currently Vice President- St. Louis Hub. He has been with American for 16 years.
C. David Cush, 42, becomes Vice President-St. Louis Hub. He will oversee American’s airport operations at the carrier’s newest mid-continent hub with more than 200 daily mainline jet departures and more than 7,000 employees. Cush currently serves as Vice President-International Planning and Alliances. He joined American in 1986.
Robert E. Olson, 43, becomes Vice President-Corporate Planning (formerly International Planning and Alliances). He will have responsibility for international planning, alliances, fleet planning and in-flight products. Currently, Olson is Vice President-Revenue Management. He has been with AA for 13 years.
Carolyn E. Wright, 40, becomes Vice President-Revenue Management. She will oversee the airline’s domestic and international pricing activity as well as have responsibility for developing and implementing the carrier’s yield management system. Wright currently serves as Vice President-Strategic Partnerships in Human Resources, a position that will go unfilled. Wright has been with American 14 years and worked in the revenue management and pricing organizations from 1992-96.
Timothy J. Ahern, 47, becomes Vice President-DFW Hub. He will oversee American’s largest hub with more than 500 daily mainline jet departures and more than 17,000 employees. Ahern currently serves as Vice President-Safety, Security and Environmental. He has been with the company for 24 years.
Peggy E. Sterling, 54, becomes Vice President-Safety, Security and Environmental. She will have responsibility for American’s development of procedures and compliance in these three critical areas. Sterling currently serves as Vice President-DFW Hub. She has been with American for 32 years.
Sterling and Cordes will report to Arpey. Olson and Wright will report to Henry Joyner, Senior Vice President-Planning. Ahern and Cush will report to Richardi.
Supporting American’s current cost reduction efforts, these moves will eliminate a Managing Director position in International Planning and Alliances in addition to the Vice President position in Human Resources.
Richardi’s airport and customer experience at American is extensive, having served from 1989 - 1995 as Vice President-DFW and from 1995 - 2000 as President-Simmons Airlines, an American Eagle carrier. Richardi’s career at American has included a wide variety of assignments, including Assistant Vice President-Employee Relations; Manager-Western Reservations Office, General Manager-San Francisco; Director-Methods and Standards; and Director-Quality of Work Life.
Before American, Richardi served in engineering positions with Chase Manhattan Bank, Melnor Industries and Ford Motor Company.
Richardi joined American Airlines in 1976 after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He has also attended Harvard University’s Advanced Management Program.