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Delta Marketing Chief to Speak on Importance of Corporate Culture

Tim Mapes, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Delta Air Lines, will be the Easter Semester Graham Executive in Residence for The Babson Center for Global Commerce.

Mapes manages Delta’s global marketing, advertising, and community affairs and has been repeatedly honored for his talents as an innovative marketer.

He will give a public lecture, “Culture Beats Strategy: How the World’s Leading Airline Creates a Competitive Advantage with Employees and Customers,” on Thursday, February 15, at 4:30 p.m. in
Gailor Auditorium.

Delta is one of the world’s largest airlines, whether the measure is number of passengers carried, destinations served, revenues, or aircraft fleet size.

During his tenure at the top marketing job for the Atlanta-based airline, Mapes has led a company-wide strategy to differentiate Delta from other carriers by building a corporate culture that is more open and direct. In 2016, Mapes was named one of the top 100 global chief marketing officers, and he has been inducted into the Hall of Achievement by the American Advertising Federation.

Mapes joined Delta in 1992 after being recruited from the company’s advertising agency. At the time, Delta was in the early stages of becoming a major global airline, due to its purchase of most of the European and Latin American route structure of Pan American World Airways, which had been the United States’ principal international carrier.

Delta itself was forced into bankruptcy in 2005, emerging in 2007, shortly before the global financial crisis. Just a year later, Delta and Northwest Airlines, another major US carrier, merged with the goal of creating the world’s largest airline.


Mapes had been promoted to a senior leadership role just as Delta was clearing bankruptcy, and he was almost immediately faced with the difficult task of creating a unified brand identity for two distinctly different corporate cultures.

Mapes is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The Graham Residencies are made possible by a generous gift from the late Henry H. Graham Jr. and his wife, Diane.