Robert Crandall

Definition of 'Robert Crandall'


A former president, CEO and chairman of AMR Corporation, the holding company for American Airlines, from 1985 to 1998. Crandall is known both for his executive leadership and for his innovations, including a computer reservation system for travel agents that revolutionized the industry.

Investopedia explains 'Robert Crandall'


Born in 1935 in Rhode Island, Crandall earned his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He began his career with Eastman Kodak in 1960 as a credit supervisor and later worked for Hallmark, Trans World Airlines and Bloomingdales before joining American Airlines in 1973 as its senior vice president of finance, where he helped make AMR a top Fortune 500 company.

Crandall's booking system became a key component of American's financial success. The system made it easier to book travel, made last-minute reservations possible and allowed consumers to purchase tickets in advance at a discount, which benefited airlines by improving their cash flow. Crandall also created the industry's first frequent-flier program, AAdvantage.


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