American Airlines Appoints John Deere CIO as Next Digital Chief

Fort Worth-based American Airlines has named Ganesh Jayaram as its executive vice president and chief digital officer.

Jayaram, who is currently CIO at farm-machinery maker Deere & Company, will begin his new role as CDIO at American on September 1.

American’s CEO Robert Isom says Jayaram has a “proven ability” to drive innovation in large, complex global organizations that depend on operational reliability. 

“His leadership style, global expertise and success in building and implementing both business and technology strategy will serve him incredibly well as he steps in to lead our technology team,” Isom said in a statement. 

Jayaram, who will report to Isom, will lead and shape the roadmap for the role technology will play in driving customer and team member experiences, the company said. AS CDIO, he’ll set vision and direction for the airline’s technology organization that supports both technical and business strategic objectives.

Jayaram says he’s“transitioning from a memorable journey with one great American icon and taking to the skies with another,” according to a recent LinkedIn post. As he reflects on his nearly 16 years at Deere, he says Winnie the Pooh author A.A. Milne sums it up best: “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

At Deere, Jayaram worked with global IT team members to engineer the ongoing digital transformation of the company into a “smart industrial leader.” His roles included being vice president of information technology and vice president of corporate strategy and business development.

Before that, Jayaram worked at Danaher Corporation and Canon USA Inc. and began his career at Boston Consulting Group. Jayaram holds a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi, and a doctorate in Materials Science and Engineering from Northwestern University.

Since May, the company has been searching for a replacement for Maya Leibman, who has been CIO since 2012. Liebman previously announced she would relocate to the United Kingdom for family reasons and will take on new international responsibilities next year.

Leibman will help with the transition until the end of the year.

“[Liebman] has been a central leader in American’s evolution over the past decade,” said Isom. “Her leadership has left an imprint on our entire organization, and we are thankful for all that she has done. She has set us up well for this transition and we look forward to her continued leadership at American.”

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