Gary L. Wilson structures and finances large transactions including the acquisition of Northwest Airlines; Northwest’s purchase of Continental Airlines; and the acquisition of Progress Rail. He has also been the creator and general partner of private equity funds including Manhattan Pacific Partners, an investment fund; and Thayer Lodging, a hotel investor; and he continues to be a partner in Clarity China, which invests in Chinese companies.
Wilson is affiliated with MPP Consulting which acted as a research consultant to the Washington Companies prior to its successful acquisition of Dominion Diamond Corp.
Wilson previously served as co-chairman of Northwest Airlines from 1991 to 1997, and was chairman from 1997 to 2007.
Wilson joined The Walt Disney Company in 1985 and served as executive vice president and chief financial officer and director until 1990. He continued as a director until 2006. Before joining Disney, Wilson served for 11 years in executive positions at Marriott Corp., including executive vice president and chief financial officer responsible for strategic planning, financial management and corporate development and operating responsibility for Marriott's In-Flight Catering Division.
Earlier, he was executive vice president and a director of Trans-Philippines Investment Corp., a Manila-based industrial complex with holdings in sugar, mining and heavy construction.
A native of Alliance, Ohio, Wilson earned a bachelor's degree from Duke University in 1962. He received an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1963. He received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University in 2005.
Wilson is a Trustee Emeritus of Duke University and serves on the Board of Overseers of The Keck School of Medicine at The University of Southern California. He is a member of the National Council of the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI).