Thomas W. Horton

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Thomas W. Horton (born May 24, 1961)[1] is a partner of Global Infrastructure Partners and is lead director at Walmart Inc. and General Electric Corp.[2]

He was chairman, president, and CEO of AMR Corporation until it merged with US Airways Group to form American Airlines Group, Inc., then became chairman of American Airlines Group, Inc. and American Airlines.[3]

Horton is credited with reinventing American Airlines and improving the company's overall performance, and leading the company through one of the most successful restructurings of that scale, culminating in a merger with US Airways.[4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

Horton was born in Hampton, Virginia[6] and spent much of his life in Texas.[7] He earned a BBA degree, magna cum laude, from Baylor University and an MBA degree from the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University in 1985.[8][9]


Horton began his career at AMR in 1985 in finance.[6] From 1998 to 2000, he led the airline's International business based in London. Horton was appointed chief financial officer in January 2000.[10]

He joined AT&T in 2002 as chief financial officer and was later appointed vice-chairman.[6] He is credited with helping to create the new AT&T, having led the evaluation of strategic alternatives in 2005, ultimately leading to the combination with SBC which formed the new AT&T.[9]

Horton returned to AMR in March 2006 and served as executive vice president of finance and planning and chief financial officer of AMR and American.[9][11][12] In 2008, he was named US top CFO by Institutional Investor magazine. On July 21, 2010, he was named president of the airline.[9][11]

On November 28, 2011, Horton was named CEO and chairman of American Airlines.[13][14] He led a team to restructure the company, while lowering costs, including in debt, leases, and its aircraft fleet, while negotiating labor contracts, among AMR’s chief goals,[15] to restore company profitability and competitiveness.[14]

Simultaneously, Horton led a renewal of American's fleet and products with a landmark aircraft deal in which Boeing and Airbus would provide new airplanes to replace the older ones.[16] The deal was the largest aircraft order in history, with 460 new single-aisle jets from the two manufacturers and $13 billion in financing. Horton's team led the airline through a rebranding including a new aircraft livery featuring a new logo and flag on the aircraft tail.[17][18]

During restructuring Horton secured a deal for the anticipated buyout from US Airways in which AMR creditors and unions owned 72% of the new company, and US Airways shareholders owned 28%.[14] US Airways had originally sought a controlling stake in the combined company. The combined company became American Airlines Group. Through the purchase and merger, Horton achieved full recovery for bondholders and, unusually, during a bankruptcy process, substantial recovery for equity holders.[10][19] The new American Airlines Group became the world's largest airline. Horton completed his tenure as chairman in June 2014.[10]

On April 15, 2019, Horton became a partner of worldwide infrastructure equity investment firm Global Infrastructure Partners.[20][21]


Horton served on the board of Qualcomm Inc. from 2008 to 2019 and was its presiding director from 2015 to 2019.[10][22] On November 21, 2014, he was appointed to the board of Walmart and was later named its lead director. In September 2015, he was appointed lead director of General Electric's board of directors.[23] He joined Warburg Pincus as senior advisor that October.[21] Horton is also a member of the executive board of the SMU Cox School of Business and is a member of the board of the National Air and Space Museum.[5] Horton served as chairman of Oneworld, the global airline alliance, from December 2011 until March 2014.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Horton is married with two grown children.[5] He is an avid runner and a jet-rated commercial pilot.[10]


  1. ^ "A look at AMR Corp. CEO Thomas W. Horton". Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  2. ^ "Press Release – H. Lawrence Hulp, JR. Named Chairman and CEO of GE". General Electric. October 1, 2018. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  3. ^ "Corporate Structure – AMR At-A-Glance". American Airlines. Archived from the original on July 16, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  4. ^ Alex Davies (November 12, 2013). "American Airlines, US Airways Strike A Deal To Merge Into The World's Biggest Airline". Yahoo! Finance. Archived from the original on April 18, 2019. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Hall, Cheryl (February 24, 2019). "Former American Airlines CEO helps pilot the boards of three U.S. corporate icons". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  6. ^ a b c "AT&T Investor Relations: AT&T Profile7#58; Senior Leadership Team". Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  7. ^ "Thomas W. Horton, Exec. VP – Finance, CFO, American Airlines Inc". Archived from the original on April 24, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  8. ^ "Distinguished Alumni @ SMU Cox". Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d "Thomas W. Horton – Chairman, CEO and President, AMR Corp. and American Airlines". American Airlines. March 30, 2009. Archived from the original on December 1, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d e Carey, Susan (May 30, 2014). "How Tom Horton Shaped American Airlines". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on May 9, 2019. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Terry Maxon (July 22, 2010). "Tom Horton moves up ranks to become president at American Airlines, AMR". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on December 1, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  12. ^ "Thomas W. Horton Profile". Forbes. Archived from the original on December 5, 2011. Retrieved November 30, 2011.
  13. ^ Phil Milford, Mary Schlangenstein & David McLaughlin (November 30, 2011). "American Airlines Parent AMR Files for Bankruptcy as Horton Is Named CEO". Bloomberg Businessweek. Archived from the original on January 24, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2017.
  14. ^ a b c Shawn Tully (February 28, 2013). "Inside the world's biggest airline merger". Archived from the original on May 7, 2013.
  15. ^ De La Merced, Michael J (November 29, 2011). "American Airlines Parent Files for Bankruptcy". Deal Book. The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  16. ^ Terry Maxon (July 20, 2011). "Horton says Boeing and Airbus are offering the airplanes as operating leases". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  17. ^ "Memphis Photos". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  18. ^ Terry Maxon (January 16, 2013). "Horton hints at American Airlines rebranding 'very soon'". The Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on January 18, 2013. Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  19. ^ Tully, Shawn (April 10, 2014). "The untold story of American Airlines' big payout". Fortune. Archived from the original on May 28, 2019. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  20. ^ "Global Infrastructure Partners Announced the Appointment of Tom Horton as a Partner". GlobeNewswire. April 15, 2019. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  21. ^ a b "Tom Horton, Global Infrastructure Partners: Profile and Biography". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on December 17, 2019. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  22. ^ Waters, Richard (April 19, 2019). "Qualcomm head proves his mettle fending off Apple". Financial Times. Archived from the original on September 19, 2019. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  23. ^ "Mr. Tom Horton". Director & Boards. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
  24. ^ "American Airlines' Tom Horton elected oneworld Chairman". Cathay Pacific News. Retrieved June 30, 2020.
Business positions
Preceded by
Gerard Arpey
President of American Airlines
2010 – 2013
Succeeded by
J. Scott Kirby
Preceded by
Gerard Arpey
Chairman and CEO of American Airlines
2011 – 2013
Succeeded by
Doug Parker