Mattson resigns Delta Air Lines board seat to focus on Wheels Up CEO role

In several moves announced today, Adam Zirkin replaces Delta CFO Janki as Wheels Up Chairman of the Board.

By Doug Gollan, October 2, 2023

After the market closed today, Wheels Up and Delta Air Lines made several filings related to new CEO George Mattson, Chairman Dan Janki, and the makeup of the Board.

Delta’s filing disclosed that Mattson yesterday notified the Atlanta-based airline of his decision to resign from its Board where he had served since 2012.

According to the filing, Mattson is leaving Delta’s Board “in order to devote his professional energies to Wheels Up Experience, Inc. as its incoming Chief Executive Officer.”

It continues, “Mr. Mattson’s departure from the Delta Board was effective on October 1, 2023, prior to him becoming the CEO of Wheels Up.”

READ: Exclusive Q&A with new Wheels Up CEO George Mattson

Zirkin named Chairman

Separately, Wheels Up’s filing revealed that Delta’s CFO, Dan Janki, who replaced Ravi Thakran as Chairman of the private jet flight provider in August, is relinquishing his seat at the head of the table to Adam Zirkin.

According to a spokesperson, “Dan Janki remains on the Board as a Director and will continue to play an important role at Wheels Up. Dan stepped in to provide board leadership at a critical juncture for the company with the intent to move to a Director role as the transaction neared its closing and the investor group and Board could agree on a more permanent structure.”

Zirkin was newly named after the Delta-led $500 million investment was finalized last week. 

He is a Partner at Knighthead Capital Management, which is part of the investing group, and where he has worked since 2012.

Prior to joining Knighthead, he was Vice President and Director of Investments at Harbinger Capital Partners and, before that, held various positions at Libertas Partners and RBC Capital Markets.

Zirkin also serves on the board of Singer Group, Inc.

Moak Joins Wheels Up Board

In a final item, Lee Moak replaces Eric Snell on the Board.

Moak is Chief Executive Officer of Intrepid LLC, a consulting firm he co-founded.

Previously, he was a Captain at Delta Air Lines, Inc., and President and Chief Operating Officer of the Air Line Pilots Association.

He began his career with the United States Marine Corps and served as Commander of the United States Navy before retiring from military service in 2001.

He also served on the United States Postal Service Board of Governors and the board of directors of Grupo Aeroméxico S.A.B. de C.V. and Reliable Robotics Corporation.

During his career, Moak also served on the AFL-CIO Executive Council and Financial Oversight Committee for the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) NextGen Advisory Committee, and the FAA Management Advisory Council on management, policy, spending and regulatory matters. 

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