ATLANTA, Feb. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines' (NYSE: DAL) Board of Directors Friday approved the appointment of Wayne Gilbert "Gil" West to executive vice president and chief operating officer effective March 1, 2014. West will succeed Stephen E. Gorman who will retire after leading Delta's operations divisions since 2007. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090202/DELTALOGO) "Under Gil's leadership since joining Delta in 2008, ACS and TechOps have achieved double-digit percentage improvements in key operational performance metrics," CEO Richard Anderson said in a memo to Delta employees. "His passion for Delta and Delta people runs high. Gil's keen business acumen and drive for continuous improvement will ensure Delta sustains and builds on its operational momentum during 2014, despite a challenging start to the year, and into the future." "Delta has been fortunate to have Steve's genuine servant leadership as our chief operating officer for nearly seven years and has seen, under his leadership, safety excellence along with significant gains in key operational and reliability metrics. He is the best," Anderson added. "While it is hard to have Steve leave the Delta family, we respect his decision to retire after a hallmark career across the commercial transportation sector. His retirement comes at a time when Delta's operational momentum will carry over naturally to Gil, who will continue to lead Delta toward improving our operation and customer experience." West joined Delta in 2008 as senior vice president – Airport Customer Service and was instrumental in leading operations integration work during Delta's merger with Northwest Airlines and driving customer satisfaction improvements in Delta's internal customer measurements as well as Net Promoter scores. In 2012, he assumed responsibility for leading the airline's internal maintenance operations at Delta TechOps as well as its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) provider business. In 2013, Delta TechOps achieved 119 days of zero maintenance-related flight cancels.