Michael T. Steen to become CEO of Atlas Air Worldwide

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Atlas Air 747-8F


Atlas Air Worldwide has announced that Michael T. Steen, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Atlas, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, in line with the Company’s long-term succession plan, effective 15th June 2023.

Steen succeeds John W. Dietrich, who is retiring from the company after nearly 25 years. Additionally, the company announced that Spencer Schwartz, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is retiring from his role, effective June 15, 2023.

Steen has more than 30 years of experience in aviation and logistics, including 16 years of executive leadership experience with Atlas. He has served as Chief Commercial Officer since 2007 and has been responsible for leading the Company’s strategy and growing market share, as well as developing and diversifying the Company’s roster of blue-chip customers. In addition to his role at Atlas, he currently serves on the Board of Directors at CHC Helicopters. A new chief commercial officer will be named following Steen’s appointment as CEO.

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“Michael’s leadership experience, strong track record of innovation and success, and consistent focus on the company’s customer-centric mission makes him the ideal candidate to lead Atlas forward in its next phase of growth,” said David Siegel, Chairman of the Board. “On behalf of the Board, we look forward to working closely with Michael to execute on Atlas’ strategic growth plans and continuing to build on the Company’s strong commitment to safety, quality and service excellence.”

“I am thrilled by the opportunity to lead our incredible Atlas team as we design and execute our vision for growth and embark on new and exciting opportunities as a private company,” said Mr. Steen. “This is a transformative time for Atlas, and the continued support from Apollo, J.F. Lehman and Hill City will play an important role as we enhance our capabilities and deliver new solutions for our customers. I am grateful for John’s leadership, and look forward to building on this strong foundation of global success.  I also thank Spencer for his partnership and contributions throughout his time with the Company.”

“We thank John for his leadership of the talented Atlas team and the significant contributions he’s made to build Atlas’ position as a global leader in airfreight.  Under his leadership as CEO, Atlas navigated one of the most dynamic and challenging periods the aviation industry has ever faced, affirming the essential role Atlas serves in the global supply chain,” continued Mr. Siegel.   “Additionally, we want to recognize Spencer for his stewardship of the Company’s financial strategy, helping to drive record earnings and supporting the Company’s growth and diversification.”

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Dietrich’s retirement follows a highly accomplished career at Atlas, where he held numerous leadership roles since 1999. Through his tenure, the company has significantly expanded and diversified its service offerings, building from a single-gauge 747 ACMI (aircraft, crew, maintenance, insurance) cargo business to many gauges of aircraft, as well as the expansion into express, eCommerce, passenger service and aircraft leasing businesses.  During this time, the company also continued to expand its military business in both cargo and passenger sectors.

“I am immensely grateful for my time at Atlas over the last nearly 25 years, and proud of all that our exceptional team has achieved together,” said Mr. Dietrich. “Being part of Atlas’ growth and global expansion has been incredibly rewarding. I know that the Company is well positioned to further accelerate its growth and will continue to deliver value for all stakeholders under Michael’s capable leadership.”

Schwartz is retiring from the company following a successful 35-year career in finance, including nearly 15 years at Atlas. Artem Gonopolskiy, Senior Vice President, Financial Planning and Analysis, will assume the role of interim CFO following Mr. Schwartz’s retirement as the company conducts a formal search process for a permanent successor.