American Airlines promotes Patrick O’Keeffe to SVP for HR

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American Airlines said it has promoted Patrick O’Keeffe to Senior Vice President – People.

The airline said the new position of Patrick O’Keeffe will be effective June 1.

The company disclosed that O’Keeffe most recently served as Vice President – Information Technology and has held a wide range of leadership positions across the airline during his more than 28 years at American.

In his new role, O’Keeffe will lead the global human resources team responsible for talent acquisition and development, team member training and support, compensation, benefits, and diversity. He will report to Elise Eberwein, American’s Executive Vice President – People and Communications. He replaces the airline’s former Senior Vice President – People, Danielle Kirgan, who has informed the company of her decision to leave American.

“There is no work more important to American’s future than the work underway to build a culture that supports our frontline team, and there’s no better leader at American who embodies the right skills to lead this work than Patrick,” said Eberwein. “Our mission at American is simple and starts with serving our frontline coworkers so that they approach every day with the tools and training needed to serve our customers and the enthusiasm and energy to connect with people. Patrick is a team builder who considers all viewpoints, and he has a proven track record of leading multi-departmental teams to successfully complete very complex projects. He has a tremendous heart for the people of American, is a champion for equality, and shares our goal to create an environment where caring for our frontline colleagues is part of every leader’s DNA.”

O’Keeffe began his career at American in the market planning department and then assumed a number of leadership roles in numerous departments including sales planning, customer research, onboard service, and food and beverage. After 16 years of experience on the commercial side of American, he moved to the IT team in 2004 with roles in customer technology and revenue and planning technology. In his most recent role, O’Keeffe was responsible for an industry-leading integration of the passenger service system as well as the corporate technology teams for revenue management, network planning, operations research, alliances, regionals, human resources, payroll and finance. Previously, O’Keeffe served as Vice President – Airlines Operations Technology and Vice President – Business and Operations Systems.

He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Limerick University and completed his Master of Business Administration at Rice University. He and his husband, Frankie, reside in Dallas. O’Keeffe is an executive sponsor for PRIDE – American’s Employee Business Resource Group for LGBT team members, and is the executive sponsor of ADEPT – a program designed to bring in talented and diverse technologists. He is also active in community organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, and serves on the board of directors for the American Airlines Credit Union.

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