ATLANTA, Oct. 27, 2008 – Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) today announced that John E. “Ned” Walker has joined the company’s senior management team as senior vice president and Chief Communications Officer, filling a vacant position.
Walker, 56, joins Delta from Houston-based Continental Airlines where he served for 21 years as a leading communications strategist, most recently serving as senior vice president of Corporate Communications. Under Walker's leadership, Continental became recognized as a leader in internal and external communications.
At Delta, Walker will report to Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson, serve as a member of the Corporate Leadership Team, and lead a team of professional communicators responsible for all worldwide internal and external communications.
“As Delta moves toward closing its merger with Northwest and creating the world’s leading airline, we are pleased to add one of the industry’s most seasoned and respected communicators to our senior management team,” said Delta CEO Richard Anderson. “Ned brings an unmatched depth of communications knowledge to Delta and will be a trusted counselor in what promises to be one of the most important eras of change in our industry. Ned joins a leadership team committed to maintaining Delta’s heritage of open, honest and direct communications with our employees, customers and shareholders, a key component of making Delta a great place to work and a great airline to fly.”
Walker holds a degree in mass communications from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a former journalist, previously working with The Chicago Tribune-owned KWGN-TV in Denver. Walker serves on the Advisory Council of the College of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin and was chairman of the visitor relations subcommittee for the Super Bowl XXXVIII Host Committee.
In the 1990s, Walker was a key contributor to Continental's turnaround when the airline rose to the top of the industry in employee morale and customer service after two bankruptcies. In 1996, Walker was named Employee Communications All-Star by Inside PR and was recognized for helping to transform Continental's corporate culture into a more employee-friendly environment. Walker also played a key role in communications during Continental’s merger with PeopleExpress, New York Air and several commuter airlines in the 1980s.
Delta Air Lines operates service to more worldwide destinations than any airline with Delta and Delta Connection flights to 287 destinations in 58 countries. Delta has added more international capacity than any major U.S. airline during the last two years and is the leader across the Atlantic with flights to 42 trans-Atlantic markets. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers 315 weekly flights to 43 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on more than 16,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 500 worldwide destinations in 105 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at delta.com.