Delta’s CFO To Depart After 23 Years Of Service

On Friday it was revealed that Delta Air Lines Chief Financial officer (CFO), Paul Jacobson has announced his retirement. Having been at Delta for over 23 years, he has seen Delta through quite a bit.

Delta Air Lines
Delta’s CFO, Paul Jacobson, has been at Delta for over two decades. Photo: Delta Air Lines

CFO Paul Jacobson announces his retirement

In a February 28 press release, Delta announced that its CFO, Paul Jacobson. However, he will remain at his position until a successor is named. He has been at Delta for over 23 years. However, he did not become CFO of Delta until 2012.

Delta CFO
Delta’s CFO, Paul Jacobson, announced his retirement from Delta. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Back in 1997, Paul Jacobson joined Delta’s Treasury team as a financial analyst and worked his way up in a variety of positions including Director of Corporate Finance, Senior Vice President and Treasurer, and a few others. In total, during his time at Delta, Jacobson played several key roles. In fact, he had an integral part in managing Delta’s bankruptcy process in the mid 2000s. And since then, he has also helped Delta climb out of bankruptcy and become one of the highest performing airlines not just in the United States, but also around the globe.

Recently, he was instrumental with several key moves including Delta’s purchase of the Trainer oil refinery, balance sheet initiatives that amounted to $10 billion in debt reduction for Delta, Delta’s New York-JFK Airport Terminal 4 expansion, and many more.

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Paul Jacobson in attendance at a company event, seen here with other Delta executives including CEO Ed Bastian. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Outside of his role as Delta’s CFO, Mr. Jacobson has also put in a fair amount of energy into making Delta a better workplace. After someone at Delta within the finance team suffered a heart attack, Mr. Jacobson took on several initiatives. In fact, Jacobson worked to get defibrillators and AEDs around Delta facilities. And, he has also worked to raise funds to combat heart disease and stroke across the United States.

Who will replace Paul Jacobson?

Delta has not immediately announced who will take the place of its outgoing CFO. Rather, the airline will search for a suitable replacement. Mr. Jacobson will stay with Delta until the airline secures a replacement. However, finding a replacement – especially one of Jacobson’s calibre – will not be easy.

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Delta has not yet named a replacement for Paul Jacobson. Photo: Delta Air Lines

Delta has had a top-notch financial team these last few years. The airline is widely regarded amongst passengers, employees, investors. Ultimately, with the right recruitment and selection process, a new CFO should not largely impact Delta’s operations. There is every expectation that a new CFO will continue Delta’s strong performance.

Other changes at Delta

Delta is also realigning its leadership team in several ways:

  • Bill Lentsch will become the head of an integrated customer experience organization
  • Gareth Joyce will be Delta’s first Chief Sustainability Officer focusing heavily on Delta’s plan to become the first carbon neutral airline in the world
  • Eric Phillips will be Delta’s new Senior Vice President of Airport Customer Service and Cargo– Delta’s largest customer-facing operational group
  • Erik Snell will become the head of Corporate Planning focusing on Delta’s operational and commercial organizational alignment
  • Gil West, Delta’s current Chief Operating Officer, will work on innovation across Delta in addition to his current role
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines is also aligning some other leadership roles. Photo: Delta Air Lines


After 23 years of service at Delta, CFO Paul Jacobson is retiring. While he will stick with Delta until he has a successor, he has done a lot of work in shaping the airline into what it is today. His presence surely will be missed at Delta.

What do you think about Delta CFO Paul Jacobson and his work at the airline? Let us know in the comments!