Delta Air CFO Won't Retire as Planned and Stays On During Pandemic

Delta Air Lines Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson rescinded his retirement plan to help the airline through the coronavirus pandemic.
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Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Report Chief Financial Officer Paul Jacobson rescinded his retirement plan to help the airline through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Atlanta carrier said in late February that Jacobson would retire. Jacobson had planned to stay on with the company until a successor was named. 

Jacobson, 48, will continue as executive vice president and CFO. He was hired in 1997 and was named CFO in 2012.

Chief Executive Ed Bastian said in a statement that last week he approached Jacobson and asked him to reconsider his decision to retire. 

“Paul's experience and guidance have been critical to Delta's initial response to the covid-19 crisis," Bastian said. 

"Under his leadership, we have boosted our liquidity through commercial markets and expanded our cash position to help us weather the storm in the months to come.” 

Bastian said Jacobson played a “crucial role” in guiding the company through the dire times after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

“It's too early to know how long our rebound will take. But we can all be heartened by the fact that Paul has chosen to stay with Delta not only as we rebuild, but for many years to come as we continue our climb,” Bastian said.

To conserve cash, Delta has suspended its stock buyback plan and dividends.

“Maintaining ample liquidity during this crisis is critical to the essential service that Delta provides in America’s transportation infrastructure as well as the jobs of more than 90,000 Delta people across the country,” Bastian said.

Some 13,000 Delta staffers have volunteered to take unpaid leave, according to the filing, but the airline needs more of them to do so.

Delta shares at last check were off 2.7% to $23. Delta reports first-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

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