Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announces search committee for airport general manager

By Maria Saporta

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed today announced a nine-member search committee to select a new airport general manager.

Reed also announced that the city is working with the search firm of Heidrick & Struggles to interview and recommend candidates for the post. The firm is conducting the search on a pro-bono basis.

Ben DeCosta, who has been general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport since 1998, is leaving the post at the end of this month.

“Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is the world’s busiest airport and a vital part of Atlanta’s economic engine,” Reed said in a statement. “There are many opportunities for further development at the airport, and having an airport general manager who will continue to grow Hartsfield-Jackson and help fulfill its mission of become a leading international cargo hub is essential.”

Reed announced last week that the search committee would be chaired by Carol Tomé, chief financial officer for the Home Depot.

The members of the committee are as follows:

Darryl Harmon of Wells Fargo;

Retired Coca-Cola Co. executive Carl Ware;

Ben Myers of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers;

Carter USA President Scott Taylor;

William Clement of Atlanta Life Financial Group;

John Spiegel, formerly of SunTrust Bank;

Taylor Glover of Turner Enterprises; and

Turner Broadcasting Vice-President Loretta Walker.

The search committee has been asked to provide the names of five candidates to the mayor and to the city’s chief operating officer — Peter Aman. Once the search committee makes its final recommendations, Reed will announce his choice for the position.

“My goal is to find an individual who will continue to maintain Atlanta’s dominance as the number one passenger airport in the country,” Reed said in the statement. “I am committed to keeping the airport safe and secure, and with the help of my newly appointed search committee, I am confident that we will identify the perfect candidate for the job.”

The task of running the airport is one of the biggest jobs in the city. Currently, the airport is in the midst of a major expansion — the building of the new international terminal.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

1 reply
  1. Burroughston Broch says:

    Why is Heidrick & Struggles working pro bono? Could this be another in a long line of high profile quid pro quo arrangements involving the City? I would be more comfortable if the City paid them for their services and created no future obligation.Report


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