Ed Bastian has been named by his peer CEOs as the 2023 Chief Executive of the Year, Chief Executive magazine announced Monday.
Bastian was selected by an independent committee for his work leading the remarkable revival of Delta during an era of unprecedented crisis and volatility in the airline industry. Delta has since returned to profitability and made many investments in its people, operational reliability, innovation and customer experience, including the announcement of free Wi-Fi for all customers.
“Ed Bastian is a true exemplar of what it means to be a visionary, resilient, purpose-driven leader,” said Ken Frazier, former Chair and CEO of Merck 2021 CEO of the year. “Nearly all companies were required to make adjustments during the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding that Delta Air Lines and its people needed to play a pivotal role at the very forefront of this global crisis, Ed confidently guided his organization through a period of unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty to deliver essential services for the benefit of us all.”
Bastian has served as a Delta leader for 25 years and steered the company and its 90,000 employees worldwide through some of the most challenging periods of its history, including 9/11, bankruptcy and COVID-19.
“I’m humbled by this incredible recognition and graciously accept on behalf of Delta’s global team of 90,000 worldwide,” said Bastian. “The resilience and strength they demonstrated through the most challenging time in our company’s history is nothing short of remarkable. Our people continue to set Delta apart and it’s the greatest honor of my life to serve them.”
Read more about what other CEOs said about Ed’s recognition on the Chief Executive magazine website.