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» Smilin' Jack   » Specific Airline Discussions   » TWA   » Captain Compton to retire October 01, 2001

   
Author Topic: Captain Compton to retire October 01, 2001
twaokc
Post Captain
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http://www.twa.com/pressrelease/document.html?iReleaseID=1930
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Life_Platinum
Post Captain
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I'm surprised Captain Compton is retiring after giving the company just four weeks notice. What is he planning to do? Based on his love of flying, I thought he would at least continue to fly until he reached 60.
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twaokc
Post Captain
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I have a feeling that part of his reason is because he does not like the way the employees and retirees of TWA are being treated by AA.
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B-757-200
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Maybe he just can't stand to see his career-long employer be dismantled.Or maybe...he has another offer elsewhere.He's only 53, you know; he can keep flying for 7 more years.
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extwacaptain
Prop Wash
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Please know that my battlefield experience is limited to Hollywood productions on the big screen. Since there is no precedent for just how long more than one leader is required to direct the overall operation of combined companies, we will have to believe that Captain Compton has made the decision he believes best for all concerned.

His departure can be likened to the General who fought valiantly and achieved many successes against great odds. And, now that battle is over and his troops are proud to have served under his leadership. The battle did not achieve all of the objectives and there were casualties. A leader can only stand and stare at such a scenes so long and then it is time to move to the next challenge or conflict, taking with him the pride and memories of a hard fought battle.

Captain Bill Compton, I salute you as a leader and as a friend.

My best wishes for your future,

Randy Kramer


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Life_Platinum
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Captain Compton was on the info line this AM, and he was the entire show. He had 2 messagse, one that he was retiring, and two, that TWA employees are better off today than they were on Jan 1, 2001. He spent the rest of the conference call talking about salaries, job security, and benefits not only for current employees but also for those who have retired from TWA in the past. He also acknowledged that the integration into American will be difficult for some. For those who do not have the info line #, it is 1-800-892-1976.
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TWHO?
Post Captain
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quote:
Originally posted by twaokc:
I have a feeling that part of his reason is because he does not like the way the employees and retirees of TWA are being treated by AA.

I have a feeling your feeling about the way Mr. Compton is feeling about the treatment of his employees is wrong. Mr. Compton knows what the alternatives were. As the info line suggests everyone is not going to be happy. Current AA employees are not all happy.


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TWAnr
Post Captain
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quote:
Originally posted by Life_Platinum:
Captain Compton was on the info line this AM, and he was the entire show. He had 2 messagse, one that he was retiring, and two, that TWA employees are better off today than they were on Jan 1, 2001. He spent the rest of the conference call talking about salaries, job security, and benefits not only for current employees but also for those who have retired from TWA in the past. He also acknowledged that the integration into American will be difficult for some.

Conference Call Recap - September 5, 2001
Conducted by Mark Abels, Corporate Communications

(excerpts)

ADDRESSING CONCERNS OF THE TRANSITION - Bill Compton,
president- TWA
I think it is important to take some time to reflect on the
recent past and where we stand today on the integration.
We should look forward to long-term prospects for the TWA
employees.

This past week, I spent quite a bit of time out on the line
at various stations and working on the ramp and I had the
opportunity to speak with a number of employees. On some
employees' part, there has been a bit of doom and gloom and
I think that has been fostered by one of our unions, and I
am disappointed. I think it is important for every
employee to reflect a bit on where we were and where we are
today and where we are going to be going. When you look
back to the January timeframe when we announced the deal
with American Airlines, TWA was on the verge of liquid-
ation. There was no "white knight" that was going to come
in and save the company. While on the ramp last week, I
had a few people come up and say, "Well, Boeing was going
to give us hundreds of millions of dollars," and that is
absolutely, positively, not true. Not that we didn't talk
to Boeing, but the fact of the matter was, there were no
alternatives and TWA would have been liquidated in mid to
late January. We would have had 20,000 unemployed TWA
workers, we would have had retirees without insurance and
we would have created a lot of hardship- not only for
ourselves, but for the communities that we serve.

Now we look to the American Airlines deal and virtually all
of the problems that put TWA in financial difficulty are
being resolved. When I look at the major problems that TWA
had as a stand-alone carrier, there were primarily five:
1. antiquated work rules with some employee groups
2. we were not part of a large network carrier
3. we were not part of a world-wide alliance
4. we did not have the number of regional jets needed to
succeed
5. we had a financial predicament that was extremely weak
Now you look at our deal with American Airlines and
virtually all of those issues have been resolved. The work
rule changes we have attempted to secure for years are now
being put into place. In the short term, that may change
people's lives a bit. But you will see in the intermediate
and long-term, that those work rule changes will benefit
the TWA employee. We are now part of the largest network
in the world. Beginning December 2, we will be part of the
One-World Alliance. The regional jets are now beginning to
come as we have agreements with TransStates and Chautauqua
to increase the number of RJs from currently 8 to 24.
Also, the balance sheet is quite different, as TWA is part
of American Airlines, one of the best in the industry.

I don't want to go on too long, but I do want to bring
people back to the reality of where we were. I also
recognize that change is always difficult and we are going
through a major change now that is emotionally stressful
to the TWA employees. We all need to recognize that, but
I can promise you that we will all look back two or three
years from now and say, "I canAt believe what a good deal
this is- being part of American Airlines." For the long
term, this is going to be great for the TWA employees.
The insurance for our actives and our regular retirees
continue, passes for our regular retirees continue,
virtually every TWA employee is going to get a substantial
increase in pay, and perhaps the most important thing-
there will be security where there was no security before
as we will now be part of a successful airline. I just


want to bring it back to the reality of where we were.
Know that I understand the emotional turmoil associated
with change, but I feel very comfortable that in a couple
of years when TWA employees look back, they are going to
think this is a great deal, TWA becoming a part of American
Airlines. I know that we were all excited about in
January, I know we were all excited about it when we closed
the deal in April, and we should be just as excited about
it now.

MRTC AND NEW LIVERY - Jim Jensen, senior vice president-
maintenance and engineering
There was a party in St. Louis on Saturday to celebrate the
completion of "More Room Throughout Coach." We had cake
and rewarded two people aboard flight 599 en route to
Houston. One person won a set of seats taken off an
aircraft during the MRTC conversion, and one person won two
round trip domestic tickets. We had a lot of fun with
employees, as well as passengers that were in the area of
Gate C 17. I would like to particularly thank the team
that did the bulk of the work in Kansas City. A number of
employees in Los Angeles also did a fantastic job on the
757s. The folks in Kansas City who took seats out and put
seats in and moved overhead panels and did in record time
totally impressed me. I am very grateful to them and I
know all of the people that had anything to do with the
project are grateful to them as well, including the support
people.

The challenge now is the process of stripping, polishing,
and painting our fleet. That began this week and we'll be
doing up to six lines of aircraft at a time. We intend to
have the fleet done by April and this is a very aggressive
goal. We thought the MRTC schedule was aggressive as well
and we accomplished that, and I think our employees are up
to the challenge and I look forward to seeing all of our
airplanes done by the end of April.


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TWHO?
Post Captain
Member # 647

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That still is not going to be enough for the theorists.
Called the Hotline thanks for the #. For some reason I kept hearing Carty forced him to say all that, that message was AA's idea.

[ 09-07-2001: Message edited by: TWHO? ]


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Jeff Isenberg
Post Captain
Member # 421

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The predicament of TWA as stated by Mr. Compton:

1. antiquated work rules with some employee groups
2. we were not part of a large network carrier
3. we were not part of a world-wide alliance
4. we did not have the number of regional jets needed to succeed
5. we had a financial predicament that was extremely weak. Now you look at our deal with American Airlines and virtually all of those issues have been resolved. The work
rule changes we have attempted to secure for years are now being put into place. In the short term, that may change people's lives a bit. But you will see in the intermediate
and long-term, that those work rule changes will benefit the TWA employee. We are now part of the largest network in the world. Beginning December 2, we will be part of the
One-World Alliance. The regional jets are now beginning to come as we have agreements with TransStates and Chautauqua to increase the number of RJs from currently 8 to 24.
Also, the balance sheet is quite different, as TWA is part of American Airlines, one of the best in the industry.
[/B][B]

Clearly, numbers 1 & 4 were IAM issues and I don't dispute Compton's contention on them. Sherry Cooper obviously didn't do her members any favors by remaining intransigent about these issues.

On items 2 & 3, what Compton didn't mention is that his precedessor as CEO spent a good part of his tenure going around the world preaching against the evils of codesharing. Further, Compton's predecessor spent another good chunk of his time as CEO paring back the already weak network of TWA. Even if some other airlines might have considered TWA for codesharing in the mid-90's, by the time Gitner got through with TWA, they had such a weak presence in any major business center that nobody would even consider codesharing with TWA.

As to item #5, what Compton didn't mention is that one of the main reasons for TWA's weakened financial condition was that Gitner and other of his predecessors effectively choked off any possibility for TWA to increase their revenue stream, especially during a time when they couldn't immediately pare down their cost structure. While other airlines rode the tidal wave of the economic boom of the latter 1990's, TWA was pidgeonholed into a one-hub airline without a network. And .... at the time of the proposed AA takeover, TWA management and the board were seen crying in public about their inability to survive without a larger network, significant codeshare partners, yada yada yada ....

I don't dispute the reality of the 5 points listed by Compton. It's the story behind the story, though, that one never hears from any of the long succession of TWA management personnel who failed in their leadership of the airline.

Jeff I.


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MrMarky
Post Captain
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Hi Jeff--

Interesting that Mr. Bill never mentioned the Karabu Agreement, unless he just has that lumped in with number 5. Ditto with the aircraft lease rates and fuel costs. Also, I'm not sure it was Sherry Cooper who wouldn't allow the RJ's. I think it may have been the mechanics group. Seems to me there were more than eight of the RJ's. I want to say it was more like 15 going on 30 or 35.

Once ALPA had signed off on the RJ's, the head turning speed with which they came on line (and with which Chataqua RJ's later replaced Trans States RJ's) also makes one pause to wonder why more could not have been accomplished in terms of the network/alliance/code-share issues. Despite Gitner's previous work.

It is also interesting that Mr. Bill addressed the "rumor" issue, which has certainly been rampant at PB and to a lesser extent, here. I wonder where else the rumors circulate--I wonder if they're discussed on the TWA system. Also very interesting that he verified the talks with Boeing, though denying any deal was in the works. Hmmm.

Marky


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rampguy
Post Captain
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I find it also unique that no mention of Icahn's raping, plundering and piliging (my opinion only Carl) of TWA. Afterwards he loaded it up with higher debt, flipped us some pocket change and continued to pimp it. yet all of this was legal? My god. Only in America.
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Phil
Post Captain
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Bill Compton should have been integrated into the AMR management after helping engineer the "fast track" takeover by AA. Something must have gone wrong in the boardrooms. We will probably never hear what went wrong as it would not be his style. I expect it will not be too long before he will be snatched up by another corporation that needs his leadership abilities.
Thanks Bill, I have often said your MEC work, BOD work, and your work with the creditors kept us together, and made us a take over target.

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TWAnr
Post Captain
Member # 166

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For Immediate Distribution Newsgram 01-302
And Bulletin Board Posting September 24, 2001

COMPTON POSTPONES RETIREMENT

Today American Airlines Chairman and CEO, Don Carty, issued
the following statement:


Dear Colleagues:
As you know, Bob Baker has been honored with an appointment
to the President's special task force on aviation security,
which is demanding much of his time. While Bob will
continue to oversee TWA, Bill Compton has agreed to extend
his departure until the end of the year to help Bob and I
manage the ongoing TWA integration efforts.

Additionally, I have asked Bill to help us strengthen our
cost reduction efforts. As many of you know, his tenure at
TWA required him to find innovative ways to constantly
keep costs in check. Most importantly, Bill was able to
accomplish this goal while helping TWA achieve a solid
reputation for providing outstanding customer service and
operational dependability.

We appreciate the contributions both Bob and Bill will be
making on our behalf in the days ahead.

Don Carty


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B-757-200
Post Captain
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Well, now that Bill is staying, maybe the unions can let him know---in no uncertain terms---to keep his mouth shut when discussing seniority integration issues.He has no authority, no credibility and no input to the outcome of ANY integration between TWA/AA employees, so the best thing to do is what Carty and Baker do---DON'T COMMENT on it.
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