Business

Guts: Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta Air Lines

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For Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian, a focus on moving forward is paramount. “We say in our business, there’s a reason they don’t put rearview mirrors on airplanes.”

Bastian, a Gwinnett resident, launched the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Insight Series this summer, sharing his experience and perspectives with other business leaders and residents.

Bastian, who’s been with Delta for 18 years, served as the airline’s president since 2007. But lessons learned early – as one of nine children – still influence him. “It was about values and doing the right thing the right way with integrity, transparency, honesty and working hard…and seeing where it goes.”

At Delta, his focus has always been on people.  “It’s our employees we focus on. If I do a better job with our employees, they serve our customers better… At Delta, when we say family, we mean not just our employees and customers; it took a community to get this company back on its feet.

“When I graduated college, I had never stepped foot on an airplane, so it was impossible to imagine then that I’d eventually be running an airline. That tells me that you need to keep your mind open to opportunities, and when you see a path forward, don’t be afraid to take it. Have confidence in yourself.”

Ed Bastian, CEO,
Delta Air Lines