American Airlines Group Inc. announced that Derek Kerr, American’s Vice Chair, President of American Eagle and Strategic Advisor, will retire from the airline Sept. 30.
Kerr stepped down as CFO at the end of 2022 after 20 years in the role as part of a long-planned succession process. Devon May was named Kerr’s successor as CFO and assumed the role Jan. 1. Heather Garboden was named Senior Vice President of Regionals and Cargo in March and will continue to lead American’s Regional and Cargo work going forward.
“Derek Kerr is one of the finest and most accomplished executives in the history of the airline business,” said American’s CEO Robert Isom. “I’m proud to call him a friend, and American is very well-positioned for the future because of his leadership. We wish him well as he begins his retirement.”
In his most recent role of Vice Chair, President of American Eagle and Strategic Advisor, Kerr has led American’s Regional and Cargo teams and served as a strategic advisor to the company. As President of American Eagle, he has been responsible for nearly half of American’s daily departures with oversight of the airline’s regional operations.
“I’m incredibly proud of everything we accomplished during my time at American, US Airways and America West,” said Kerr. “It has been a tremendous honor to work alongside so many wonderful people the past three decades, and I consider myself incredibly lucky for the countless memories and friends I have made along the way. I’m confident Robert, Devon and the rest of the American Airlines team will continue to chart a profitable path for American and build an airline that will thrive forever.”
Kerr served as CFO of America West Airlines, US Airways and American from 2002 to 2022. He was instrumental in the mergers of America West and US Airways in 2005 and US Airways and American in 2013. Kerr and his team raised $25 billion to keep American on solid footing during the global pandemic.
Kerr joined America West in 1996 and served in a variety of finance and planning roles before he was named CFO in 2002. He was named Senior Vice President and CFO of US Airways in 2005 and was promoted to Executive Vice President and CFO in 2009.
Kerr serves on the board of directors of Comerica Incorporated, the board of directors of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the advisory board of the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, the board of directors of the Cotton Bowl, and he is a member of the Dallas Stars Ownership Advisory Group. He earned a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering and a Master of Business Administration in finance from the University of Michigan.