William Douglas Parker (b. October 31, 1961)[1] is an American businessman who was the Chairman of American Airlines Group, Inc., the parent company of American Airlines.[2]

Doug Parker
William Douglas Parker

(1961-10-31) October 31, 1961 (age 60)
EducationAlbion College (BA)
Vanderbilt University (MBA)
EmployerAmerican Airlines Group, Inc.
TitleChairman and CEO
PredecessorThomas W. Horton
SuccessorRobert Isom
Spouse(s)Gwen Parker

Early life and educationEdit

Parker grew up in Michigan and received a BA in Economics from Albion College (1984). He then received an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University (1986), where American Airlines offered him a job after a campus interview.[3]

Early careerEdit

Parker was a financial analyst at American Airlines from 1986 to 1991, where he was a member of then CEO Robert Crandall's "Brat Pack",[4] alongside Thomas W. Horton (former CEO President and Chairman of American), C. David Cush (former CEO of Virgin America), and Ben Baldanza (former CEO of Spirit Airlines).

Parker joined Northwest Airlines in 1991 and was tasked to help create a team that would systematically figure out where the airline was making and losing money. Tracking profits flight-by-flight in such detail at that level was a first for Northwest.[5]

Parker became Chief Financial Officer of America West Airlines in 1995 after returning to the United States, and because then-CEO Bill Franke wanted to train him to be a CEO, Parker moved around between finance, sales, and operations.[5] Parker was named Chairman and CEO in September 2001, 10 days before the September 11th terrorist attacks.[6] Under Parker, America West was the first of several airlines to win post-9/11 federal loan guarantees, saving the airline from a second bankruptcy.[3]

US Airways careerEdit

America West and US Airways merged in 2005, with Parker continuing as CEO of the combined company. US Airways made an unsuccessful bid to merge with Delta Air Lines as it was in bankruptcy protection in 2006, faltering as Delta rallied workers and creditors against the hostile bid. Creditors rejected the bid in early 2007.[7] US Airways also attempted a merger with United Airlines in 2008 and in 2010, but United ultimately merged with Continental Airlines.[5]

American Airlines careerEdit

In 2012, US Airways launched an effort to merge with American Airlines, while American's parent company, AMR Corporation, was in bankruptcy protection. US Airways took the unprecedented step of securing tentative contracts with American's labor groups, while AMR was still pushing to exit bankruptcy.[6] That deal closed on 9 December 2013, and Parker was named CEO of the combined company, which became the world's largest airline.[2] December 7, 2021, American Airlines Group announced Doug Parker will be retiring as the chief executive officer on March 31, 2022 while he will continue to be the chairman of American’s board. Robert Isom, the current president of American will be the new CEO.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

Parker lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife, Gwen Parker, and three children. In 2007, Doug Parker pleaded guilty to his third DUI and was sentenced to 1 day in jail.[9] After his conviction, shareholders questioned if the company should have disclosed Parker's two previous DUI arrests.[10] He and his family are active members of Highland Park United Methodist Church.[11]

Parker endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the run-up for the 2016 U.S. presidential election.[12] Additionally, in 2019, Parker donated to $2,500 to Democrat Steny Hoyer.[13]

Awards and appearancesEdit

  • 2015 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Southwest region.[14]
  • Commencement address at Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management, 10 May 2013[15]
  • Recipient of the 2017 Tony Jannus Award for distinguished achievement in commercial air transportation.


  1. ^ "Doug Parker". www.nndb.com. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  2. ^ a b "A year into its merger with US Airways, American Airlines is flying high". dallasnews.com. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  3. ^ a b "America West CEO inspires workers by being one of them". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Travel News, Tips, and Guides - USATODAY.com". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  5. ^ a b c "Persistent Doug Parker nears top job at American - StarTribune.com". Star Tribune. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b Mary Schlangenstein (11 February 2013). "US Airways CEO Takes AMR Prize to Cap Mergers He Spurred". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  7. ^ "US Air drops hostile bid for Delta after creditors say no - Jan. 31, 2007". cnn.com. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  8. ^ "American Airlines Announces Leadership Succession Plan". news.aa.com. Retrieved 23 February 2022.
  9. ^ "US Airways CEO serves 24-hour jail sentence for drunk driving - USATODAY.com". usatoday.com. Archived from the original on 27 March 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  10. ^ Herb Greenberg (12 February 2007). "US Airways Should've Disclosed CEO's DUI". Seeking Alpha. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  11. ^ "Interview with Doug Parker". Highland Park United Methodist Church. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  12. ^ Ballhaus, R. The Wall Street Journal September 23, 2016.
  13. ^ "Browse Individual contributions". FEC.gov. Retrieved 27 August 2020.
  14. ^ EY (30 June 2015). "EY announces Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2015 Award recipients in the Southwest". prnewswire.com. Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  15. ^ 2013 Commencement Address: Douglas Parker, MBA'86. 10 May 2013. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2016 – via YouTube.

External linksEdit

Business positions
Preceded by CEO of American Airlines
2013 - present
Succeeded by