ATLANTA—Aviation industry communications veteran John “Ned” Walker has joined Delta Air Lines as senior vice president and chief communications officer. He will report to chief executive officer Richard Anderson, serve as a member of the corporate leadership team, and lead a team of professional communicators responsible for all worldwide internal and external communications.
The announcement comes as Delta moves toward closing its merger with Northwest.
Walker, 56, joins Delta from Houston-based Continental Airlines where he served for 21 years as communications strategist, most recently as senior vice president of corporate communications. In the 1990s, Walker was a key contributor to Continental's turnaround when the airline rose to the top of the industry in employee morale and customer service after two bankruptcies. In 1996, Walker was named Employee Communications All-Star by Inside PR and was recognized for helping to transform Continental's corporate culture into a more employee-friendly environment. Walker also played a key role in communications during Continental's merger with PeopleExpress, New York Air and several commuter airlines in the 1980s.
Walker is a former journalist and previously worked with The Chicago Tribune-owned KWGN-TV in Denver. He serves on the advisory council of the College of Communications at the University of Texas at Austin and was chairman of the visitor relations subcommittee for the Super Bowl XXXVIII Host Committee.