American Airlines’ new $350 million corporate campus in Fort Worth will be named after Robert L. Crandall, the legendary airline executive who served as American’s CEO from 1985 to 1998.
The surprise announcement came Saturday night at the 33rd annual H. Neil Mallon Award Dinner at the Hilton Anatole, where the Mallon Award was given to American’s current CEO, Doug Parker. Crandall, who divides his time these days between Florida and Massachusetts, attended the event and introduced Parker to the crowd of 800-plus. Then the current CEO accepted the award, which is presented annually by the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, and said that he had some news to share.
“We’re going to name the new campus after Bob Crandall. I just told Bob about it an hour and a half ago,” Parker said. “We want to do it because what we’re trying to do is restore American Airlines to be the greatest airline in the world, and nothing says American Airlines is the greatest airline in the world better than the name Bob Crandall. I don’t know [exactly] what we’ll call it yet, but it will be something Bob likes. The Robert L. Crandall World Campus, or something Bob likes.”
American’s new corporate campus, which was announced last October, will sit on 300 acres off State Highway 360, just west of the airline’s current, 30-year-old campus near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. It will accommodate about 5,000 employees and is scheduled to be ready for move-in by the fall of 2018.
Asked by a reporter for his reaction to Parker’s announcement, Crandall said, “Obviously, I think it’s a great compliment and a huge pleasure.”