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Five executives to leave Delta in cost-saving measure

Written by editor

Delta Air Lines Inc. is thinning the ranks of its executive suite, according to a Wednesday internal memo to employees.

Delta Air Lines Inc. is thinning the ranks of its executive suite, according to a Wednesday internal memo to employees.

Five high-ranking executives at Delta will be leaving by June 1 as the carrier trims costs and streamlines its business as it integrates with Northwest Airlines Corp.

In a memo to employees, Delta CEO Richard Anderson and President Ed Bastian said the airline had proportionately reduced frontline staffing through voluntary job cuts to match decreases in flight capacity.

Delta has already announced plans to cut international capacity by 10 percent, and 2,100 employees opted for voluntary buyouts in the latest round of job cuts.

“One area in which we will be accelerating our merger integration impacts our executive staffing needs,” the executives wrote.

Leaving Delta will be:

-Todd Anderson, senior vice president of customer service stationed in Minneapolis-St. Paul;

-Crystal Knotek, senior vice president of airport customer service for Northwest;

-Laura Liu, senior vice president of international;

-Anna Schaefer, Northwest vice president and chief accounting officer; and

-Tammy Lee Stanoch, vice president of corporate affairs stationed in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

As a result of the shake up, several executives will take on new duties, including:

-Mike Becker, Northwest executive vice president and chief operating officer, will take over international duties, including the Pacific unit.

-Gil West, Delta senior vice president of airport customer service, will take over as head of airport customer service for Northwest, and continue reporting to Delta COO Steve Gorman.

-Bill Lentsch, former Northwest senior vice president of flight operations, is now senior vice president of Minnesota operations.

“The overall state of the global economy and the resulting drop in the demand for air travel continue to challenge the airline industry and Delta is no exception,” Anderson and Bastian wrote to employees. “Bottom line, the global economic downturn is worse than many economists anticipated. We will continue to act quickly and decisively to address these economic pressures looking ahead for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010.”