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At the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, UCLA Honors the CEO of Delta Air Lines

At the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, UCLA Honors the CEO of Delta Air Lines

Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, was recently bestowed with the prestigious John Wooden Global Leadership Award by UCLA Anderson School of Management. This distinguished accolade was presented to Bastian during a grand gala dinner held at the luxurious Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles.
The award, introduced in 2008, honors the memory of John Wooden (1910–2010), a renowned UCLA basketball coach, author, and leadership specialist. It is bestowed annually upon an outstanding business leader who exemplifies Wooden’s esteemed standards of performance, integrity, and ethical values, as well as a commitment to community service. The most recent recipient of this accolade was Brian Cornell (B.A. ’81, CERT ’91), who currently holds the positions of board chairman and chief executive officer at Target.
For his exceptional vision and leadership in guiding the nation’s oldest continuously operating airline, Bastian has been honored with the prestigious 2023 Wooden Award. Over the course of the last 25 years, Bastian has played various critical roles at Delta, successfully navigating the company through its most difficult times and fostering a sense of trust and unity among its 100,000-strong workforce. Under his leadership as CEO, Delta has risen to become the most highly acclaimed airline globally.
UCLA Anderson Dean Tony Bernardo, accompanied by Caroline W. Nahas, B.A. ’70 and Korn Ferry senior advisor, commenced the evening’s festivities by acknowledging Coach John Wooden, the four exceptional 2023 Wooden fellows, and the remarkable honoree, Ed Bastian.
Bernardo highlighted Bastian’s presence on stage as a means of acknowledging his accomplishments and accolades as the Delta leader, which only scratched the surface of his remarkable career.
Throughout his time as leader, Ed Bastian has successfully steered Delta’s employees through some of the most arduous periods in the company’s history, including the aftermath of 9/11, bankruptcy, and the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tonight’s tribute to him is not only for his exceptional leadership, but also for his outstanding approach. He consistently prioritizes people by establishing profit sharing, committing to no job cuts or furloughs, advocating for equality, and ensuring the well-being of employees and customers, stated Bernardo. Similar to a coach, Ed centers his focus on the team and lives by a clear purpose. He wholeheartedly champions Delta’s shared principles of honesty, integrity, respect, perseverance, and servant leadership.
Bastian expressed his humility and gratitude upon receiving the John Wooden Global Leadership Award. He shared a personal anecdote about his father’s admiration for Coach Wooden’s UCLA team, which faced St. Bonaventure, the alma mater of both Bastians, in a basketball match. Bastian’s father considered it a privilege to compete against Coach Wooden’s team, especially since the Bruins emerged victorious.
In closing, Bastian quoted one of Coach Wooden’s favorite maxims.
“The quip of his I love the most was one of the things I believe he said near the end of his life,” said Bastian. “Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts. It’s courage that inspired our team to get through the many challenges we face, and it’s courage that will keep us climbing to new heights.
“I’m deeply, deeply touched and honored to be receiving the John Wooden Global Leadership Award,” Bastian concluded.SOURCE: UCLA Honors Delta Air Lines CEO at Beverly Wilshire Hotel BY: eTurboNews | eTN  

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