The financial sector’s response was upbeat after Delta announced Wednesday that current President Ed Bastian would succeed CEO Richard Anderson, who will retire in May.
Analysts said they expect a “seamless” transition and a continuation of the philosophy “that has made Delta the best-run and one of the most profitable airlines in the world.”
Here’s a sampling of comments:
- “As expected, President Ed Bastian was named the next CEO, and he is part of a deep bench of leaders that will help guide DAL after Mr. Anderson’s retirement.” – Bank of America / Merrill Lynch
- “While the timing of the transition was unexpected, the eventual leadership change was long anticipated… We feel [Bastian] is best suited for the job and believe Delta will continue to thrive under his leadership.” – Raymond James and Company
- “As far as management transitions go, this is about as seamless at they come. Both Mr. Bastian and Mr. (Glen) Hauenstein (Delta’s newly appointed president) are well known and highly regarded by the investment community and have extensive careers successfully managing the airline through tumultuous times… We’re comfortable Delta remains a solid FCF (free cash flow) story for as far as we can see.” – The Buckingham Research Group
- “Although we weren’t anticipating an announcement like this, we’re not necessarily surprised as we viewed an eventual succession as this as inevitable… We expect the three-month lead time and prior planning to allow for a smooth transition. ” – Stifel
- “We expect a fluid transition and a continuation of the philosophy that has made Delta the best run and one of the most profitable airlines in the world… The ‘next man up’ strategy is clear at Delta, with no one on the new management team coming from outside the company, making for a smooth transition.” – Cowen and Company