American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) announced several appointments within its marketing team to better align the airline’s marketing efforts and backfill some key leadership positions.

  • Kurt Stache moves to Senior Vice President – Marketing & Loyalty.
  • Vasu Raja moves to Vice President – Network Planning.
  • Joe Mohan hired as Vice President – Alliances & Partnerships.
  • Bridget Blaise-Shamai promoted to Vice President – Loyalty.

“The Marketing team plays an integral role in transforming the customer experience,” said American’s Chief Marketing Officer, Andrew Nocella. “Today’s announcement is the next step in building a cohesive team that will continue to innovate and drive our marketing efforts forward.”

Stache, Raja and Mohan all will report directly to Nocella; Blaise-Shamai will report to Stache.

Marketing & Loyalty

Kurt Stache, who most recently served as SVP of Alliances & Partnerships, has been appointed to the role of SVP of Marketing & Loyalty. In this position, he will oversee the airline’s marketing strategy and implementation across all channels, as well as direct the company’s customer relations management and loyalty programs.

Prior to his role as SVP – Alliances & Partnerships, Stache was based in London and served as VP – International, with responsibilities for company business in the Atlantic and Pacific regions. Previously, he held additional leadership posts including VP – Global Sales, President – AAdvantage Marketing Programs, and Managing Director – International Revenue Management.

“Kurt has excelled throughout his career at American,” said Nocella. “He has held leadership positions across the airline and is uniquely qualified to drive our marketing strategy and ensure our programs are aligned and optimized.”

In addition, Bridget Blaise-Shamai has been promoted to VP – Loyalty and will take over as President of the AAdvantage program. In this role, she will oversee all aspects of the program’s recognition and reward propositions for AAdvantage members. She will also be responsible for the airline’s customer relationship management initiatives, AAdvantage customer service, and all travel and retail mileage partnerships and business solutions. Blaise-Shamai has spent more than 20 years with the airline, most recently as Managing Director – Customer Loyalty & Insight. Prior to that role, she held several leadership positions including Managing Director – Distribution Systems and Director – AAdvantage Partner Marketing.

“Bridget is the natural choice to step into this critical role and lead our loyalty programs forward,” added Nocella. “She has extensive knowledge of AAdvantage and has been an integral part of its growth and evolution during the last several years.”

Fern Fernandez, VP – Global Marketing; John Gustafson, VP – Digital Channels; and Blaise-Shamai all will report to Stache.

Network Planning

Vasu Raja will assume the role of VP – Network Planning where he will be responsible for the planning of American’s worldwide route network as well as the development of the airline’s long-term network strategy. Raja most recently served as VP – Pricing & Yield Management. In that position, he was responsible for pricing and yield management of American’s global network. Raja joined American in 2004 and has held a variety of roles in Sales, Corporate Planning and Revenue Management.

Raja will assume this post from Chuck Schubert, who has been named as VP – Operations & Crew Performance where he will lead the operating division programs that drive our operational performance and improve overall network reliability. Schubert will report to American’s SVP – Integrated Operations, David Seymour.

“Chuck has done a terrific job building our network and I know he will be an integral part of the Operations team moving forward,” said Nocella. “Coming from Revenue Management, Vasu will bring a unique perspective to the Network Planning team. His past experiences, coupled with his leadership style, will be a strong asset to the team as we continue evolving our network.”

Alliances & Partnerships

Joe Mohan has been hired as VP – Alliances & Partnerships and will start in this role Aug. 15. He will be responsible for managing the airline’s global alliances, international planning activities and interline product distribution. In addition, he will oversee American’s joint business agreement activities with British Airways,Iberia and Japan Airlines.

Mohan has more than 15 years of experience in the aviation industry. Most recently, he has served as CEO of VivaLatinamerica and led the expansion of the Viva brand through new airline launches throughout Latin America. He started his airline career in 1996 with Continental Airlines and spent 10 years there holding a variety of management positions across Strategic Planning, Revenue Management and Sales. From there, he eventually became the Chief Commercial Officer for Copa Airlines in Panama.

“Joe is a proven airline executive who will bring an important external perspective to our team,” noted Nocella. “He has seen success throughout his career and we are all looking forward to having him step into this significant leadership role.” (Original Source)

Shares of American Airlines are currently trading at $34.79, up $0.44 or 1.28%. AAL has a 1-year high of $47.09 and a 1-year low of $24.85. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $32.42 and its 200-day moving average is $35.90.

On the ratings front, AAL has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on July 27, J.P. Morgan analyst Jamie Baker maintained a Buy rating on AAL, with a price target of $41.50, which represents a potential upside of 18% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on July 25, Buckingham Research’s Daniel Mckenzie maintained a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $49.

According to, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Jamie Baker and Daniel Mckenzie have a total average return of -5.1% and 0.8% respectively. Baker has a success rate of 43.5% and is ranked #3702 out of 4105 analysts, while Mckenzie has a success rate of 32% and is ranked #2298.

The street is mostly Bullish on AAL stock. Out of 8 analysts who cover the stock, 5 suggest a Buy rating , 2 suggest a Sell and one recommends to Hold the stock. The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $44.00, which represents a potential upside of 25.0% from where the stock is currently trading.

American Airlines Group, Inc. is a holding company whose business activity is the operation of a network carrier through its principal wholly-owned mainline operating subsidiary, American. The company provides air transportation for passengers and cargo. It cargo division provides a range of freight and mail services, with facilities and interline connections available across the globe.