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John Selden

City of Atlanta picks JFK deputy commissioner as new Hartsfield-Jackson GM

The City of Atlanta has selected John Selden, the deputy commissioner of New York City’s JFK Airport, to be the next general manager of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Selden was one of the five finalists submitted to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms by her transition group’s airport general manager search committee, which was co-chaired by Carol Tomé, chief financial officer of the Home Depot Inc.; and Dave Abney, CEO of United Parcel Service Inc.

Ed Bastian John Hope Bryant

Delta’s Ed Bastian: We won’t ‘let the state run our business’

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, in a rare public appearance since the airline discontinued discounted fares to National Rifle Association members, basked in the applause during the Global HOPE Forum meeting in Atlanta Wednesday.

Operation HOPE CEO John Hope Bryant initiated the conversation praising Bastian for standing up for what’s right despite having “somebody threaten your balance sheet.”

State capitol

Wanted: a strong business leader to run for governor

Top Georgia business leaders expressed “frustration and disappointment” over the current slate of declared Republican candidates running for governor.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was when Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle attacked Delta Air Lines, the largest employer in the state of Georgia. The state was about to vote to rescind a tax on jet fuel when Delta announced it was ending a discount offered to members of the National Rifle Association (only 13 NRA members had taken advantage of the discount according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

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Richard Anderson Amtrak

Why Delta’s Richard Anderson went from planes to trains

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Sept. 15, 2017

Make no mistake about it. Richard Anderson is now a railroad guy.

Anderson, the former CEO of Delta Air Lines Inc., became co-CEO of Amtrak — the nation’s passenger railroad system — in July. His co-CEO is Wick Moorman, who served as both CEO of Norfolk Southern Railroad and as Amtrak’s past CEO.

“I don’t work in the airline industry anymore,” Anderson was quick to say in a brief interview on Sept. 9 when he was in Atlanta to be honored at a gala of the American Cancer Society. “I work for Amtrak.”

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Blake, Waller and Bastian

Delta savors success at its annual meeting

As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on July 7, 2017

When Delta Air Lines held its annual meeting in New York City at 7:30 a.m. on June 29, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin was not there.

Franklin had just spent the better part of two days attending events and meetings for Delta directors including a dinner June 27 to bid her farewell from the board. She, along with fellow director Kenneth Woodrow, had reached the mandatory retirement age of 72.

Kasim Reed Richard Anderson

An emotional Mayor Kasim Reed signs lease to keep Delta here for 20 years

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was overcome with emotion during the public signing of the city’s 20-year lease agreement with Delta Air Lines – a lease that also includes a 10-year optional extension.

The mayor’s voice quivered as he fought back tears talking about one of his closest confidants and friends in Atlanta’s business community – Delta CEO Richard Anderson.

Delta Air Lines gets no love from 2015 Georgia Legislature

Original Story by Maria Saporta on WABE

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson has been the most vocal business leader in Georgia according to journalist Maria Saporta. Credit Katsumi Kasahara, file / Associated Press

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson has been the most vocal business leader in Georgia.
Credit Katsumi Kasahara, file / Associated Press

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Delta Air Lines employs 33,000 people in Georgia ─ more than any other company in the state. But that didn’t stop state lawmakers from punishing Delta’s outspoken CEO.

The legislature voted to reinstate a jet fuel tax on Delta.

Why? To teach CEO Richard Anderson a lesson. They want him to keep his mouth shut.

Anderson has been the most vocal business leader in Georgia ─ speaking out against a restrictive immigration policy, speaking out against the “religious freedom” bill that could discriminate against gays and lesbians, and speaking out for transportation investment even if it means new taxes.

So legislators said: Let’s tax Delta.

Even after being told the jet tax could only be spent on airports ─ that the state would not get any of the Delta dollars, legislators didn’t back down.

Georgia is supposed to the friendliest state for business in the country. Yet it punishes its largest employer because its CEO spoke out for policies that he believed would keep Georgia globally competitive.

Delta is the magnet for almost every other company that moves or expands in Georgia. Smart leaders would be bending over backwards to listen to Anderson ─ making sure he’s a happy camper. He’s not.

In 2007, Atlantans made buttons with the slogan: “Keep Delta My Delta.”

The fear was that as the airline emerged from bankruptcy, it would move its headquarters to another city. But Anderson and Delta’s board decided to keep the headquarters in Atlanta.

After such a mean-spirited session, it’s time to show Delta some love.

Let’s reprint “Keep Delta My Delta” buttons; so our state officials can make Delta feel welcome in Georgia once more.