American Airlines CEO: How We Do Things Differently
This story was originally published on Sept. 7.
Arpey's strong ethical sense is well-known to anyone who listens regularly to American's quarterly earnings conference calls, where he periodically reminds us that the carrier's difficult financial position reflects its efforts to avoid bankruptcy in 2003 and to honor obligations to shareholders, employees, and other business partners.
|American Airlines CEO Gerard Arpey|
In an interview in his Dallas office, Arpey's commitment to principle came through even more plainly than on the calls. "This company stands for something, more than just any old company," he declared. "Gradually, it will emerge as a successful company that honored its commitments and its pension obligations and that was guided by principles of doing what's right."The path we have taken has created cost challenges for us," Arpey acknowledged. "But I believe there is something misguided about how we measure success, if success is bankruptcy, giving pension obligations to taxpayers and not paying back creditors. By that measure, we have failed."
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