President Trump’s impeachment and potential removal from office could have consequences beyond the immediate result. Likewise, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker’s removal may have a lasting effect.
Impeachment of the President, Removal From Office
For just the third time in the nearly 250-year history of the United States, a president has been impeached. To be clear, that in no way means President Trump will be removed from office – in fact it’s rather unlikely that will be the case. That said, a significant portion of the country backs his removal from office even if it’s unlikely to occur.
According to Forbes and Wikipedia, if President Trump were to be removed from office, Vice President Mike Pence would take over the Oval Office with Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, becoming the Vice President. (Some commenters have disputed this chain of succession.) a representative of selected by the (new) president and affirmed by a majority in both houses of congress. (HT: Chad G)
But what does this have to do with Doug Parker…?
Pilot Union Latest to Call for Parker’s Head
The Allied Pilot’s Association, which represents 15,000 of American Airlines captains and first officers, announced that its Philadelphia base wants CEO Doug Parker gone. This is significant for two key reasons. The first, PHL is a major hub for the carrier and specifically, for the US Airways executives that now lead the charge for the carrier. Losing their support is not a good sign. The second is that this is yet another labor group that feels passionately that management is the problem.
Isom, Pence – Better or Worse?
For President Trump’s detractors, impeachment may have seemed like the right answer. However, if Trump is removed from office, the question some might ask is whether Vice President Pence is better suited for the job. Likewise, will American Airlines President, Robert Isom, who many feel would be the undisputed replacement be a better fit for the job than CEO Doug Parker?
In the case of the presidency, Trump seems to stand on his own. While Pence’s policies may not satisfy Trump’s detractors, he’s not the lightning rod and he also doesn’t seem to be the man behind the curtain pulling the strings.
But with Parker and Isom, the situation could be different. Previous American Airlines president Kirby (who left for a similar position at United and CEO in March) was responsible for devising many of the loathed changes that have haunted customers and crew alike. Isom, in turn, has been following Scott Kirby’s path and is named by both many to be part of the problem with the airline. In fact, I wrote that getting rid of Parker doesn’t solve American’s problems.
However, after some consideration, I would postulate that eliminating Parker may make the situation worse. How? The board will seek out stability in a time of tumult especially from within the team with a proven track record of managing the business and a known entity to the rest of the company’s leadership. That could lead to giving Isom time in the role and extending poor customer-last policies (like Oasis aircraft refits) and a prolonged failure to appease labor.
Is Parker the puppeteer or the puppet?
Sometimes it’s better to stick with the devil you know and in this case, I can’t really say whether replacing Parker will end the problems at American Airlines or extend the life of the rest of the team creating them.
What do you think? Will removal of Doug Parker solve American’s woes as labor groups (and me) believe that it may? Or will it only perpetuate bad policies by those who replace him?