Delta Air Lines

(DAL) - Get Report

realigned its executive ranks in a move the company said would help improve its financial and operating performance in the face of spiking fuel costs and other factors weighing on the carrier.

Jim Whitehurst, currently senior vice president and chief network and planning officer, was named chief operating officer. He will assume oversight for operations, customer service, network and revenue management and corporate strategy.

Additionally, Edward H. Bastian, a six-year Delta veteran, has returned to the company to become chief financial officer and executive vice president. Bastian had been serving as CFO at

Acuity Brands

(AYI) - Get Report

. He replaces Michael J. Palumbo, who recently said he wanted to pursue other opportunities.

Delta said Glen W. Hauenstein, a 20-year veteran of the airline industry, is joining the company as executive vice president and chief of network and revenue management. He was most recently vice general director for



Shares of Delta were adding 3 cents to $3.90.

Acuity said it will start a search for a CFO to succeed Bastian. Karen J. Holcom, vice president and controller, will serve as interim financial chief until a permanent replacement is found.