Gangwal expected to be Chairman/CEO of Worldspan


Aug 27, 2002
From the Washington Post (3/26/03)...

Rakesh Gangwal, former president and chief executive of US Airways, is expected to be named chairman and chief executive of Atlanta-based Worldspan as early as this week, sources confirmed. Worldspan is a reservation system used by airlines, hotels, car-rental companies, cruise lines and travel-booking Web sites including Gangwal resigned from US Airways in November 2001. Worldspan was acquired from its owners, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines, earlier this month for more than $1 billion in a private equity deal led by Citigroup Venture Capital Equity Partners and Teachers'' Merchant Bank of Ontario.
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I guess $15 mil doesn''t go as far as it used to? Poor guy had to take a job in retirement.
Maybe they will have to change their mission statement from "Worldspan is a reservation system used by airlines..." to "Worldspan is a reservation system that rips off the airlines..."
What to you want to bet the res work will be outsourced to India? BA and DL already have rez centers there.

Also wonder is this the next step in outsourcing rez altogether.
Doesn''t Worldspan know that shortly Gangwal will ruin their company and walk away with $15 million. History will repeat. Hey Worldspan... don''t say we didn''t warn you.
I lost all respect and faith with him as a business person asked what US would do if the UA merger didn''t go through. His response: "THERE IS NO PLAN B". I''ll bet that''s the last time he''ll ever put all the eggs in one basket.

I guess I lost all respect for Gangwal after seeing a few of his decisions in action. His choice of Sabre wasn''t all it was cracked up to be and caused such a mess for pax and CSA alike.

He didn''t seem to have a grasp on the day to day business either. His use of "Task Forces" may have been a good thing if they''d been allowed to work.

Also, we''ve heard his management style was to scream, yell and slam around, generally intimidating those working under him. Not a very conducive environment for bringing out the best in the people working for you unless you want to be surrounded by "Yes Men and Women."

I just don''t think he delivered. No "Plan B" as pointed out, didn''t deal with the fare rationalization or face up to the competition coming from all sides.

I hope he learned a lot of positive management techniques during his tenure with US Airways. We know he has the money to take a few classes at the Learning Annex or even a Dale Carnegie course.

I wish WorldSpan Employees all the best. Best plan for the worst though, as we US Airways employees learned at our cost.

With all due respect to you and your opinions, from sitting in the front row with this new mangement...I'll take Gangwal and Wolf lock, stock and barrel, and hands down.

I say to God every day, "please make it go away and I will never, ever complain again...honest!

I understand how you feel about Wolf and Gangwal. Unfortunately, the fact is that we now have a management team that is already trampling on the contracts they signed in the Winter. This management team is far nastier in the nittygritty than the last management team (no, I do not yearn for those mythical days of milk and honey, but PITbull has a point--pay atention to what she has to say, she''s in the thick of things).

The company is violating the AFA contract with great vigour, attempting to keep the union off balance with a combination of sledgehammer blows and death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts maneuvers. I suspect it is the same with other unions on the property.

Truth be told, the day to day stuff going on on the ground is uglier than anything seen under Wolg and Gangwal. Wolf and Gangwal (and particularly Wolf) were much more adept as messing things up at the macro-level. The current guys are much nastier and deceitful in the trenches.

Good luck to all of us!
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Don't you think that what's going on now is a reaction to WolfGang? If it wasn't for Dave, we'd already be history... there is no doubt about that. As painful as it is, he is doing what needs to be done. I don't think it will be bad forever, but we need to survive this economy (and let's hope it lasts only until 2004 and the Shrub doesn't get re-selected). Dave has pulled us through, evidenced by the fact that we WILL be out of bankruptcy on Monday. That in itself is nothing short of miraculous and a testimony to what management AND employees have done together. But with all due respect, you are burying your your head in the sand if you thing that Wolf and Gangwal have not raped, pillaged, and plundered this company into near oblivion. THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO MANAGE. THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO MOTIVATE. THEY DON'T KNOW HOW TO RESPECT. Now, I realize there is an argument that what current management has done is worse. But what was Dave supposed to do. The company simply doesn't have the money. Now that we have the cost thing in check, light years ahead of OALs in my opinion, we are poised to kick butt, and I think we will. FINALLY we have an unique opportunity to look at strategic growth, thanks to Dave and no thanks to Wolf or Gangwal. They came to CCY to pick us clean and sell us off. They succeded in the first part.

The truth is, PIT, there is a new reality in the aviation industry on how things need to get done. Airlines can adapt or parish. The employees at U have decided to adapt. It ain't easy, but it can be done. And it will be done. But the us vs. them attitudes of years past won't work anymore. It is up to us AND management to find ways to respect each other and protect ourselves. It is not Dave's fault that the economy stinks, that air travel is down, and the low cost competition is springing up all over the place.

Simple economics dictates that you cannot pay out more money than you are bringing in. Wolf and Gangwal should have addressed this years ago. They should have addressed the route network years ago. They should have addressed the RJ issue years ago, rather than let DAL encroach on many of our routes with lower cost RJ structures. They should have paid more attention to running an airline and less attention to selling it off in potential a deal that had almost no chance of getting federal approval at the time. They should have finessed their labor groups instead of pitting them against each other. They should have stepped onto the front lines and talked with the employees. They should have fostered an environment of trust rather than hide behind the great wall of CCY.

I submit to you that this company is exactly where it is because of them. Now Dave has to clean things up. But economies are cyclical and I think things will get better. It's sad to say that some airlines are probably going to die off. It is a testimony to Dave that we probably won't be one of them.
Actually he was and still is a respected ceo president. We all know how airline people esp unionized can tear a guy apart when they are saying something we dont want to hear.... He isnt any worse or better than most airline execs. One main difference between then and now is he didnt have bk to slash and burn and threaten employees with toget what he wanted. In general all the things that has been done over the past few months were things he said needed to be done but couldnt because of union contracts etc.... i mean lets be fair to the guy he isnt any worse than the rest of them......
There are several good viewpoints here. One story circulating years ago was that when Wolf asked Gangwal come to U, Gangwal agreed with the understanding that he would not come here with to old philosophy at UAL of constantly firing cannonballs across the bows of the various groups. If so, that didn’t last long or Gangwal decided he liked using his own cannonballs instead.

As to Wolf and Gangwal being the worst, they were. Never in the history of U was there such disparity in net worth of this Company judging from cash balances, stock value, etc and that was not entirely the result of 9/11. Yes they brought it up very high but squandered every bit of it. Aside from the value of the dedicated employees there was minimal value in this Company at the end of their tenure. Dave didn’t know what bad shape we were in until he jumped into the pool completely but now we finally do have a chance to rebuild.

Like cats though regardless of performance these top executives always land on their feet, hence the job at Wordcom. I hope they keep him busy in ATL though so we know where to find him if we go after him for the money but in reality the chance of that is probably slim to none.
On 3/26/2003 8:50:17 PM PITbull wrote:


With all due respect to you and your opinions, from sitting in the front row with this new mangement...I''ll take Gangwal and Wolf lock, stock and barrel, and hands down.

I say to God every day, "please make it go away and I will never, ever complain again...honest!

You have got to be kidding !