Delta Chief Operating Officer Gil West to retire from airline

Delta Air Lines chief operating officer Gil West is retiring from the company at the end of September 2020. (Credit: Chris Rank for Rank Studios). Source: Delta
Delta Air Lines chief operating officer Gil West is retiring from the company at the end of September 2020. (Credit: Chris Rank for Rank Studios). Source: Delta

Credit: Chris Rank

Credit: Chris Rank

Delta Air Lines Chief Operating Officer Gil West is retiring from the company after 12 years at the carrier.

West will stay at the company through September “as we evaluate how to best transition his responsibilities in the current environment,” Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer, said in a memo to employees Monday.

The airline praised West’s work. It did not detail the reasons behind the 59-year-old executive’s decision to retire from the company.

Delta has been working to cut its workforce and expenses amid the steep decline in travel due to COVID-19, including through buyouts and early retirements.

West joined Delta in 2008 from bus company Laidlaw Transit Services, where he was CEO. He started out at Delta as senior vice president of airport customer service and helped lead the integration of Delta and Northwest operations in the merger of the two airlines.

West, who has helped to improve Delta’s on-time performance and reliability, was promoted to chief operating officer in 2014. In that role, he also led the expansion of Delta’s ancillary businesses and technology-focused ventures including Delta Hangar, Delta Flight Products and Delta Material Services.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian (left) and COO Gil West unveil the new A220 aircraft while celebrating the 10-year anniversary of merging with Northwest at the Delta Air Lines TechOps on Monday, Oct 29, 2018, in Atlanta.  Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Delta CEO Ed Bastian (left) and COO Gil West unveil the new A220 aircraft while celebrating the 10-year anniversary of merging with Northwest at the Delta Air Lines TechOps on Monday, Oct 29, 2018, in Atlanta. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Delta Chief Operating Officer Gil West joined in the action with an all executive team. Friday, teams of Delta Air Lines employees, were competing to see who could drag a Boeing 757 20 feet in the fastest time. The jet drag is part of fundraising activities by Delta to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Delta Chief Operating Officer Gil West joined in the action with an all executive team. Friday, teams of Delta Air Lines employees, were competing to see who could drag a Boeing 757 20 feet in the fastest time. The jet drag is part of fundraising activities by Delta to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

Credit: Bob Andres

Credit: Bob Andres

October 25, 2018 Atlanta - Joe Jackson (right), who will retire after 50 years, gets a handshake from Gil West, Chief Operating Officer for Delta Air Lines, during Jackson’s retirement gathering at Delta Operations/Customer Center on Thursday, October 25, 2018. Joe Jackson, Delta’s first African American dispatcher and duty director is retiring after 50 years at Delta. Joe started his career at Delta in 1968 first on the ramp in Florida before becoming a dispatcher in 1980 here in Atlanta. He’s been in Delta’s Operations and Customer Center ever since, eventually rising to the level of Duty Director where he had oversight over Delta’s entire global operation. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
October 25, 2018 Atlanta - Joe Jackson (right), who will retire after 50 years, gets a handshake from Gil West, Chief Operating Officer for Delta Air Lines, during Jackson’s retirement gathering at Delta Operations/Customer Center on Thursday, October 25, 2018. Joe Jackson, Delta’s first African American dispatcher and duty director is retiring after 50 years at Delta. Joe started his career at Delta in 1968 first on the ramp in Florida before becoming a dispatcher in 1980 here in Atlanta. He’s been in Delta’s Operations and Customer Center ever since, eventually rising to the level of Duty Director where he had oversight over Delta’s entire global operation. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

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