Atlas Air transition sees Dietrich replace Flynn

Atlas Air William J. Flynn and John W. Dietrich
(l-r) William J. Flynn and John W. Dietrich.
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Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings announces that president and chief executive officer William J. (Bill) Flynn will retire from the company effective 1 January 2020, after a successful 13-year tenure, and become chairman of the Board on that date.

The board has appointed John W. Dietrich, current executive vice president and chief operating officer, as Flynn’s successor effective immediately, and he will retain the role as president when he assumes the role of chief executive officer on 1 January 2020.

Additionally, Robert F. Agnew, current Chairman of the Board, will become the Board’s lead independent director, effective 1 January 2020.

Atlas says the transitions and appointments are the culmination of a comprehensive succession process led by the board to “ensure strong leadership continuity as the company continues to advance its strategic growth agenda”.

Continuing to serve on the Senior Leadership Team are Michael Steen, executive vice president and chief commercial officer, and president and chief executive officer of Titan Aviation Holdings, Inc.; Spencer Schwartz, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Adam Kokas, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary; and Patricia Goodwin-Peters, senior vice president, Human Resources.

“One of our key responsibilities as a board is the implementation of a leadership transition plan to ensure the company’s continued success in the future,” says Agnew. “Given John’s depth of experience and proven track record of performance, we are confident that he is uniquely suited to take on the chief executive officer role and lead Atlas into its next growth phase.

“On behalf of the board, I want to thank Bill for his extraordinary leadership. He has built a company that is more dynamic, more profitable, and better-positioned to deliver continued success,” continues Agnew. “Under his leadership, we have grown our fleet, diversified our service offerings, broadened our customer base, and developed a world-class team of talented, customer-focused employees. Bill is well-prepared to have a significant impact as chairman of the Board.”

During Flynn’s tenure, the company has become a leading provider of outsourced aviation services. Key significant achievements include the transformation of Polar Air Cargo with the DHL joint venture; investment in the B747-8F platform; acquisition of Southern Air, which added B777 and B737 operating capabilities to the suite of services; growth in relationships with express and e-commerce customers; expansions with long-term customers; and entry into passenger charter flying.

Additionally, the company launched and expanded its dry-leasing subsidiary, Titan, to become one of the leading freighter-centric leasing companies with potential for further growth.

“It has been a great privilege to lead the company through this period of tremendous growth, and strengthen our position as a leader in global aviation outsourcing,” says Flynn. “I am proud of our dedicated and experienced employees, and the business we have built as a team.

“For over two decades, John has had an unparalleled commitment to this company and our employees. He also has played a key role in driving our success. He has the visionary leadership and solid expertise needed to usher in a new era of growth.

“I look forward to working with John, my fellow board members, and the Senior Leadership Team as we continue executing our strategic growth agenda to create long-term value for our customers, shareholders and employees,” Flynn adds.

“I am honoured to have been selected to lead this great company, and continue the strong momentum established under Bill’s leadership,” adds Dietrich. “We have an outstanding team of employees and a powerful portfolio of aircraft and service offerings.

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