Delta moving some information technology work offshore

Delta Airlines is consolidating its information technology operations in the Twin Cities, and is asking some employees of its domestic vendors to work for offshore companies, the Fox 9 Investigators have learned. 

At least a dozen vendors who provide information technology (IT) services to Delta were told by Delta executives in August either that their services were no longer needed, or that Delta would like to approach some of their employees to ask if they would work instead for one of three IT companies based in India. 

Those employees would still work in Minnesota, but their employment contract would be with one of the Indian companies. 

In response to questions about the shift to offshore IT, a Delta spokesperson provided a statement: 

“Evaluating our vendor partnerships is an ongoing part of Delta’s effort to ensure our IT division is delivering best-in-class service and reliability for Delta customers and employees.  Within our global IT footprint, Delta remains committed to the Minneapolis-St. Paul community and to providing good paying jobs for local talent who, in turn, support the local economy.”

Delta would not comment on the number of companies or employees affected by the transition. A similar IT consolidation is happening in Atlanta. 

In January 2016, Delta’s Chief Information Officer, Theresa Wise, retired. She led more than 2,000 employees and was the only Minnesota member of Delta’s corporate leadership team. Wise, a former Northwest Airlines executive, helped integrate the information technology systems when Delta merged with Northwest Airlines. 

Wise was replaced as CIO in February 2016 by Rahul Samant, who previously had worked for American Insurance Group (AIG) and Bank of America. Samant grew up in Mumbai, India. 

Samant was at the helm in August when Delta’s IT systems went down, causing delays nationwide. Samant has said he wants IT to become a “competitive advantage” for Delta and wants to transform “infrastructure, applications, cyber security and data.” Samant is an Atlanta-based executive.

Samant is experienced with setting up overseas IT operations. As the Chief Digital Officer for AIG, Samant managed its use of vendor resources overseas, according to a Bloomberg profile. In 2004, as a managing director for Bank of America, Samant established a subsidiary in Hyderabad, India that handled the bank’s back-office operations.