Eastern Air Lines announced that, effective immediately, James Tolzien has been appointed the company’s Interim Chief Executive Officer.
The move also marks the departure of former CEO Mr. Edward Wegel. Mr. Tolzien will continue to lead Eastern’s growth while the Board of Directors conducts a global search for a permanent CEO. The search will be led by General (Ret.) Ray Odierno, Chairman of the Board of Eastern Air Lines and assisted by the global executive search firm Korn Ferry.
Mr. Tolzien has been Chief Financial Officer of Eastern Air Lines Group since its inception in 2011. Mr. Tolzien has over 40 years of executive experience across the travel industry. He has served as both Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer for several major corporations, including Alamo Rent A Car, Budget Car Rental, and the corporate travel management company TravelLeaders.
The board remains grateful to Mr. Ed Wegel for his vision in resurrecting the iconic Eastern brand,” said General Odierno. “While we recognize his contributions in navigating the startup phase of the airline, we are convinced change is required for Eastern’s continued long-term success. We wish Ed the best in his future endeavors.”
“We remain committed to our business plan of providing world class charter air service with our fleet of Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft,” said General Odierno. “Our Board is unconditionally committed to supporting Eastern’s continued growth. We have complete confidence in Jim’s leadership and we are certain we will attract a world class industry veteran to take Eastern to the next level.”
Just a few of Mr. Tolzien’s notable achievements include leading Alamo’s $650 million sale to and integration with AutoNation and also successfully leading TravelLeaders portfolio of companies through the difficult post 9/11 environment.
Eastern Air Lines is the re-launch of the famous airline that operated from 1921 to 1991. Since receiving its FAA interstate and foreign charter certification in May of 2015, Eastern has successfully grown a robust charter business basing out of Miami and serving Latin America and the Caribbean. Eastern is a rapidly growing company that currently employs over 200 employees operating five aircraft. The company will accept a 6th Boeing 737-800 next month. Its expanding footprint at Miami International Airport includes over 7,000 feet of corporate office space, a Boeing 737 flight simulator and soon an 80,000 square foot hangar and maintenance facility.