Departure of Delta's Song Unit Boss Stirs Questions
John Selvaggio may have announced his decision to retire as president of Delta Air Lines' (DAL) low-cost unit Song, but his departure has drawn conflicting messages from the company, leaving Wall Street wondering where he may go next.
Delta is losing Song's leader at a critical time for the carrier, which plans to expand the low-cost unit as part of a restructuring plan to reduce costs by $2.7 billion through 2006 and avoid a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Over the next year, Delta will boost Song's fleet by a dozen aircraft and add a number of flights, part of the largest schedule overhaul in the 75-year history of the airline.
"I share with you my decision to retire. While this was not an easy decision to make, it is the right decision and the right time to take this step," the 58-year-old Selvaggio said in a letter to Song employees. "I leave here knowing Song is well-positioned and fully supported as a strategic and vital part of Delta's transformation and future. Growth is assured, the road map is in place, and Song will be leading the way forward."
In an internal memo, Paul Madsen, Delta's chief marketing officer, had a slightly more conflicted take on Selvaggio's departure. "It is with mixed emotions that I announce
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