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Delta COO Resigns

Jim Whitehurst is leaving the airline.

Delta Air Lines

(DAL) - Get Delta Air Lines, Inc. Report

said Chief Operating Officer Jim Whitehurst is quitting, just a week after the Atlanta-based carrier went outside the company to hire a new chief executive.

Whitehurst's resignation is effective immediately.

Jerry Grinstein, the retiring CEO of Delta, said in a statement Wednesday that though the airline hoped Whitehurst would stay, "we respect his decision to move on in pursuit of new challenges."

Last week, Delta named Richard Anderson, executive vice president of

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and former chief of

Northwest Airlines


, as its CEO, meaning Whitehurst and other Delta executives, including Chief Financial Officer Ed Bastian, were passed over.

Bastian, however, was promoted to president in addition to keeping the CFO title.