American Airlines EVP of people and global engagement Elise Eberwein to retire

Eberwein will work in a senior advisory role through June 2022.

Elise Eberwein has worked in the industry for 35 years. (Photo credit: Getty Images).
Elise Eberwein has worked in the industry for 35 years. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

FORT WORTH, TX: Elise Eberwein is planning to retire next year from American Airlines after 35 years in the industry, most recently as EVP of people and global engagement. 

Until her retirement at the end of June 2022, Eberwein will work in a senior advisory role as her daily responsibilities transition to Cole Brown, SVP and chief people officer, and Ron DeFeo, SVP and chief communications officer. 

Under Eberwein's leadership, American Airlines revamped its maternity and adoption-assistance programs, implemented company-wide implicit-bias training and built a multi-year leadership-development program around the airline's leadership principles. 

Before joining American Airlines, Eberwein was EVP of people, communications and public affairs for U.S. Airways and took over communications for American Airlines after its merger with the carrier in 2013. She has led media relations, employee communications, customer relations, community relations and government affairs for several airlines. 

Eberwein began her career as a flight attendant for TWA while earning a mass communications degree from Lindenwood University. 

Eberwein has also served as a counselor and advocate for Robert Isom, president of American and the company's incoming CEO, who said in a statement that she “has had an immensely positive impact on me as well as many other people in our industry.” 

In a message to the people and global engagement team, Eberwein thanked colleagues for making "best day of your life decisions" every day. 

"It is simply time now to make my way to the exit door, up the jetway and out of the airport," Eberwein said. "Not because anything is wrong, but rather, because so much is perfectly right."

American posted a $169 million profit in Q3, taking into account $990 million in payroll support from the federal government. It recorded revenue of nearly $9 billion, down 25% from the same period of 2019, but up significantly from 2020. The carrier beat expectations on sales.

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