Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is fast-tracking his search for a new general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
On Tuesday, Reed announced to the Atlanta Committee for Progress that Carol Tomé, the chief financial officer for Home Depot, had been tapped to chair the search committee to find a replacement for Ben DeCosta.
DeCosta will be leaving the position at the end of this month.
Reed said that he and Tomé will put together a group of about 11 people to work on the committee, along with a professional search firm.
Reed said that because he did not want the search to languish, he would be willing to hire the firm, instead of seeking pro-bono work.
Part of the rush, Reed said, was the departure of Mario Diaz, who had served as Hartsfield-Jackson’s deputy general manager for 11 years. Diaz left to become director of aviation at the Houston Airport System.
“I was very comfortable until Mario Diaz left to go to Houston,” Reed said. “His departure will expedite the search.”
But in a way, the search will be limited. With the departure of DeCosta and Diaz, there are only a handful of people in the country qualified to run the world’s busiest airport, Reed said, adding that even considering someone outside of that coveted list would be laughable.
“This job is a highly coveted position,” Reed said. “And there are only about 15 individuals with the experience that could be selected for this job,” Reed said.