Warburg Pincus adds former airline CEO as senior advisor

Private equity firm strengthens its industrials and business services unit with the hire of former American Airlines CEO as a senior advisor

Warburg Pincus has appointed former American Airlines CEO Thomas Horton as a senior adviser in its industrials and business services group.

Horton has been hired to help the New York private equity firm source and review new investment opportunities involving aerospace, industrial and business service companies.

Dan Zamlong, managing director at Warburg Pincus, said that Horton’s experience will boost the firm’s aviation investment activities.
“His roles in operational and financial management will benefit our portfolio companies and their management teams and provide valuable perspectives for future investment opportunities,” Zamlong said.

Warburg Pincus, which was ranked ninth on this year’s PEI 300 list, has secured a commitment of up to $750 million for its Warburg Pincus Private Equity XII fund from the Washington State Investment Board as Private Equity International reported in September. The Washington State Investment Board has invested a total of $3.3 billion in eight previous commitments to the private equity firm over two decades of investing with the fund manager.

Horton served as CFO of American Airlines for four years, before becoming CEO in 2011. Under his watch, American Airlines restructured some $30 billion of debt after its parent company AMR filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2011. It emerged from bankruptcy in December 2013.

Prior to joining American Airlines, Horton was CFO of communications giant AT&T.
Horton’s appointment comes a day after Warburg Pincus named Scot Melland an industry adviser in its technology, media and telecommunications group. Melland will focus on originating new investments in the human resources sector. Prior to joining the firm, he was chairman and CEO of online recruitment firm DHI Group.