For Caminiti at Delta Air Lines, less really is more. Several months ago, when he was still senior vice president of sales and distribution at Delta, Caminiti oversaw a far-reaching corporate fiefdom that included everything from reservations to sales. "I had 10,000 people and a lot of organization," he says. "At this point, I have maybe 40 employees."
Caminiti, who had 20 years with American Airlines and six with Delta, gave up his old job to take Deltas Internet efforts to a higher altitude. "Id been involved with some of our early e-business initiatives, such as our 1998 agreement with Priceline.com, so it was natural for me to take this on," he says.
Caminiti now has the airlines entire e-business operation in his purview. "We believe were the only airline structured with a senior officer at the helm, orchestrating all the B2B, B2C and B2E under one umbrella," he asserts.
Essentially, Caminiti, who reports to the CFO and works closely with Deltas CIO, has set up an e-business start-up within Deltas corporate bosom. "Whats exciting is that I have the total buy-in of Leo [Leo F. Mullin, Deltas chairman and CEO] and the executive council," he says. "The buy-in says I can operate like a dot-com company but within Delta."
As part of his charter, Caminitis group has its own capital funding allotment, so that he could invest in outside opportunities without competing with internal units. "My role is to engage in delivering value to core Delta while seeking opportunities in the new economy."
Caminiti is incubating and creating new businesses with investments in companies such as E-Travel, which complement Deltas distribution efforts. "We have a piece of the company," he explains. "It provides software for companies to interface directly with suppliers. It allows our customers to tie directly into Delta and consequently helps us cut distribution costs."
He is also attempting to redefine relationships with customers through new channels such as My Own Company.com, which is directed at small businesses. "Instead of us saying, Heres how you deal with Delta, in terms of interfacing and interacting with the customer, were saying, Hey, customers, how do you want to deal with us? We have a channel for every customer segment and if not, well start one. Thats our fundamental mantra," Caminiti says.
On the B2E side, Caminiti is charged with strengthening relationships with the Delta work force. His group is using the Net as a means of providing employees with everything from e-learning to wellness programs, Caminiti says. Meanwhile hes moving his group into its own space.
"Our offices are going to be like a dot-com facility, with open areas, connoting that we in fact operate differently. Thats an important message both inside and outside the company."