Andrew Gilbert Morgan Jr.
Position: President and chief operating officer, World Airways Inc. of Herndon.
Career highlights: Morgan was regional director and general manger for properties and facilities in Atlanta for Delta Airlines. He also worked at ValuJet and Southern Airways.
Education: Received a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Colgate University and a master's of business administration in finance and accounting from New York University, and earned his CPA from New York State.
What was the impetus behind this decision? "There were certainly a lot of opportunities at Delta, but I have known and worked with [World Airways CEO] Hollin Harris for years now, and he's given me an opportunity I just can't pass up. One of the things that intrigues me about this company is that it's been operating since 1948, doing civilian and military charter work throughout the world. There are people here who have flown genuine flights of heroism. Ed Daily, World Airways president at the time of the end of the Vietnam war, sent in the last flight out of Da Nang ... that brought 300 refugees safely out of the city to Saigon. So, they have a lot of heart and soul here, and that makes it an attractive place for me to want to come be a part of."
Having worked for air outfits both large and small, what are the universal challenges facing the industry? "All of us in the airline business have a challenge to meet in the way that Wall Street views the entire industry, as our price earnings ratio is typically less than it is in many other industries. Wall Street is generally skeptical that most airlines can generate high growth in earnings, as well as earnings consistency.... But to the extent that performers in our industry can really exhibit strong and consistent performance through thick and thin -- whether the economy is up or down -- there's a real opportunity for companies to stand outside of the rest."