USAir managers shift in move to trim losses

March 31, 1994|By Suzanne Wooton | Suzanne Wooton,Sun Staff Writer

USAir Group Inc. elevated its finance chief to president and chief operating officer yesterday, a move that frees airline Chairman Seth E. Schofield to spend more time cutting labor costs at the beleaguered carrier.

Frank L. Salizzoni, 55, was named to fill the post left vacant nearly two years ago when Mr. Schofield became the airline's chairman and chief executive officer.

"It's a very smart move that will provide Seth with the ability to focus on union things," said Jon Ash, managing director of Global Aviation Associates, a Washington aviation consulting firm. "They have a very large problem that needs a large amount of time devoted to it."

The airline, which has lost $2.3 billion since 1989, recently began a new round of talks with its labor unions, hoping to secure pay and work rule concessions seen as critical to its turnaround. Mr. Schofield, who began his career at USAir as a teen-age baggage handler, has considerable credibility and popularity with labor unions.

Also yesterday, the Arlington, Va.-based airline named John W. Harper senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer. He had served as senior vice president for information services since 1992. Both Mr. Harper and Mr. Salizzoni are former executives with Trans World Airlines and Transworld Corp.

Mr. Salizzoni, who held a number of management positions at TWA from 1967 to 1987, joined USAir in 1990 as executive vice president for finance. In his new post, he will be responsible for finance, operations, information services, maintenance, customer services and purchasing.

Mr. Harper, 53, joined USAir in 1991 as vice president and controller and was elected senior vice president of information services in 1992. He also held financial management positions with Trans World.

The airline also announced that Mike Schwab, executive vice president of operations, had resigned. A spokesman for the carrier declined to comment on the resignation.

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