That’s the Bob Dylan song that came to mind for US Airways CEO Doug Parker today.
As he was introduced prior to his speech at the Aero Club of Washington it was noted at times Parker uses lyrics from Dylan songs to describe the airline industry.
On this occasion Parker didn’t readily have a Dylan quote handy in his prepared remarks. But he quickly said “Like A Rolling Stone” popped into his head in light of broken off merger talks between United and US Airways.
“How does it feel…to be without a home,” Parker said lightheartedly, follwed by joke about him being the ugliest CEO in the industry. That remark was in reference to a now well-publicised remark by Continental Chief Jeff Smisek that his carrier didn’t want United to “marry the ugly girl”.
Smisek has since apologized to Parker. And Parker fully endorses the proposed United-Continental deal, telling the audience he hopes their agreement gets the required regulatory approval.
Parker says if Continental and United are successful with their propsed merger, of the remaining four large network carriers two will be headed by former CFOs and two will be steerd by former lawyers. “These are people that care about returns,” says Parker. “Even the lawyers,” he jokes.
One former CFO Parker has no immediate plans to chat with is American’s chief Gerard Arpey. Despite huge speculation that American and US Airways could be the next pair of US majors to figuratively tie the knot, Parker assures he has no plans to meet with his counterpart headquartered in Texas.