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Northwest Airlines Names Doug Steenland CEO

Northwest Airlines
Corporation today announced that its board of directors has elected
Douglas M. Steenland, age 53, Northwest’s current president, to the
additional position of chief executive officer, effective immediately.
Richard H. Anderson, age 49, who has been chief executive officer since
2001, has informed the board that he will become executive vice president
of UnitedHealth Group on November 1.

Anderson will remain on the Northwest board.

“For the past three years, Doug Steenland and Richard Anderson have led
this company through the most difficult period in the history of the
airline industry,” said Gary L. Wilson, Northwest’s chairman. “Together,
they set the strategic direction of the company, which has positioned
Northwest as the strongest of the legacy carriers. They developed and
implemented a strategy which has produced superior operating performance,
aggressive cost containment, and prudent long-term investments in the
business. They also put together a first-rate management team which is
well prepared to continue to drive this strategy.”

“The board of directors is very pleased that Doug, who has been our
president since 2001 and a key member of the Northwest senior management
team since 1991, will continue to lead the company. His in-depth knowledge
of all areas of the global airline industry, his expertise in major
strategic areas and his outstanding leadership skills will be a powerful
asset as we continue our drive to return the company to profitability.”

“We are extremely grateful to Richard for his many contributions to
Northwest, especially in the areas of operational excellence, airport and
fleet renewal, and the use of technology. We wish him much success as he
applies his many strengths to a new industry at UnitedHealth Group,”
Wilson added.


“It is a privilege to lead Northwest’s 38,000 employees at this important
time for our company,” Steenland said. “Despite the increasingly
challenging environment, we have accomplished much together: excellent
operating performance, a significant revenue premium, industry-leading
liquidity, and a global network, recently enhanced by our membership in
SkyTeam. With our very experienced management team, I intend to follow our
proven strategy, working with our employees to achieve a competitive cost
structure and building Northwest for long-term success.”

“My proudest accomplishment at Northwest has been working with the best
employees in the airline industry,” Anderson said. “This company has a
long track record of dealing with challenges and finding ways to succeed.
Under Doug’s proven leadership, I know Northwest’s people will continue to
run a great airline, put customers first, and secure the future of

Steenland, who joined Northwest in 1991 as vice president, deputy general
counsel, is currently responsible for the following areas: alliances,
where he oversees the company’s relationships with its 16 airline
partners, as well as the SkyTeam alliance; government affairs, which
includes legislative, executive branch, and regulatory issues; labor
relations, which includes all relations with the company’s seven unions,
as well as the negotiations and administration of the company’s collective
bargaining agreements; human resources; corporate and brand
communications, which includes advertising, media relations and employee
communications; and legal affairs. He is also chairman and chief executive
officer of Northwest Airlines Cargo, Inc., the number two trans-Pacific
cargo airline.

Prior to joining Northwest, Steenland was a senior partner at the
Washington, D.C., law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard and Hand.

Steenland was graduated in 1976 with highest honors from the National Law
Center at George Washington University. He is a member of the board of
directors of Northwest Airlines, MAIR Holdings Inc., The Guthrie Theater
and The Minnesota Symphony Orchestra.

Organizational Changes

Key executive appointments made in connection with the naming of the new
CEO are as follows:

—Tim Griffin, executive vice president of marketing and distribution,
will assume additional responsibility for sales and customer relations and
becomes executive vice president marketing and sales.—Phil Haan,
executive vice president responsible for international and information
services, will assume additional responsibility for alliances, in-flight
services and cargo.—Bernie Han will continue as executive vice
president and chief financial officer.—Andy Roberts, currently senior
vice president-technical operations, will become executive vice
president-operations with responsibility for technical operations,
engineering, flight operations/systems operations control, customer
service and materials management. All of these executives will report
directly to Steenland.