Delta CEO Handed Out 1.4 Billion Dollars to Employees, Distributing Parts of Company Profits

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian’s aviation journey began at the age of 25, marking the start of a remarkable career that has earned him admiration as one of the Fortune 500’s most esteemed CEOs.

Over his 25-year tenure with Delta, Bastian has navigated the airline through various challenges, including the industry turbulence following the 9/11 attacks, widespread bankruptcies across airlines in 2005 resulting in significant job losses, and most recently, the pandemic, which decimated aviation jobs by 43%.

Despite these adversities, Delta emerged as the world’s most profitable airline, a testament to Bastian’s leadership. His achievements led to Delta being recognized as Fortune World’s Most Admired Company, with Bastian himself honored as Chief Executive magazine’s CEO of the year in 2023.

Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines Fleet At Bay (Credits: Reuters)

Bastian shared insights into Delta’s success at South by Southwest’s annual series of conferences, highlighting the company’s people-first approach. In 2005, Delta filed for bankruptcy alongside other major airlines, prompting layoffs and pay cuts.

However, this crisis catalyzed a shift towards a more employee-centric culture at Delta, exemplified by a profit-sharing model implemented in 2007.

Under this model, employees receive 15% of the company’s profits and are prioritized for payment over management. This approach not only provided financial security during lean times but also fostered a sense of ownership and loyalty among employees.

Delta reinstated the model after a brief pause in 2020, distributing $1.4 billion to employees this year, equivalent to over 10% of their annual salary.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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