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Donald J. Carty

Donald Carty (Jim Wallace, 2002)

Donald J. Carty, OC (born 1946) is a Canadian businessman who serves as chairman of Virgin America, Porter Airlines and eRewards. In addition to these chairmanships, Mr. Carty is also a director of EMC Corporation,[1] Dell, Barrick Gold, Talisman Energy, CN Rail, and Gluskin Sheff. He was previously chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of AMR Corporation, the parent company of American Airlines, from 1998 to 2003. Carty is a past director of Hawaiian Airlines, Sears, Placer Dome, CHC Helicopters, and Brinker. He is a past chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, a former member of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University and of the board of directors of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation and the Dallas Theater Center. He currently serves on the Executive Board of the SMU Cox School of Business, In January 2007. Carty became the Vice Chairman and chief financial officer of Dell. On June 13, 2008, Carty retired from day-to-day operations, but stayed on as a director.


Born in Toronto, Ontario, on July 23, 1946, Carty attended Queen's University and Harvard Business School. He worked for Air Canada and the Canadian Pacific Railway before joining American, although he served as CEO for CP Air from 1985 to 1987. At American, he served as controller, and later as executive vice president for finance and planning under CEO Robert Crandall, before becoming CEO of American himself in 1998.

In April 2003, in the long wake of the September 11 attacks and facing an industry beset by terrorism and hard times, Carty and his executive board were forced to strike a cost-cutting deal with American's labor unions, intended to mitigate AMR's upcoming $1 billion first-quarter loss. The deal—the largest corporate restructuring outside of bankruptcy in American history—almost unraveled several days later, when unions learned that AMR executives were keeping $41 million in retention bonuses. Although many other airlines had similar retention bonus arrangements,[2] several AMR board members—most notably University of Oklahoma president David L. Boren—called for Carty's resignation.

Carty stepped down on April 24, 2003. He was replaced as CEO by Gerard Arpey, and as chairman by Edward A. Brennan.

Carty was appointed as Chairman of Virgin America on February 6, 2006.[3] On February 2 of that year, Toronto-based Porter Airlines, in the process of starting up a small regional service out of the downtown Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, announced that Carty would simultaneously serve as its chairman.

In 1999, Board Alert named him one of the year’s Outstanding Directors.In 2002, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In September 2002, Carty was appointed by President Bush to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council where he served until the summer of 2005. He is a recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Law from Queen’s University.


  1. ^ "EMC Expands Board of Directors with Appointment of José E. Almeida and Donald J. Carty". EMC Cortporation. 12 January 2015. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Delta backs off on top-tier bonuses", USA Today, August 12, 2003.
  3. ^ "Virgin America Appoints Donald J. Carty Chairman of its Board of Directors," Virgin America press release, February 6, 2006.
Business positions
Preceded by
Robert Crandall
American Airlines CEO
Succeeded by
Gerard Arpey
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