Southwest Announces 2022 Executive Leadership Plans

DALLAS, June 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Southwest Airways Co. (NYSE: LUV) announced that Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly will transition roles in early 2022, becoming the carrier’s Executive Chairman with the need to serve in that position as a result of at least 2026 at the discretion of the Board of Directors. Government Vice President Corporate Providers Robert Jordan will turn into Kelly’s successor as CEO productive Feb. 1, 2022. Jordan also will be part of the Board at that time.

“On behalf of the Southwest Airlines Board of Directors, I am delighted to announce Bob Jordan as CEO,” Kelly reported. “Bob and I have labored side by facet for a lot more than 30 a long time. He is a gifted and seasoned govt and perfectly-geared up to choose on this vital job. Performing intently with President Tom Nealon and Main Running Officer Mike Van de Ven, we will start creating changeover programs in the coming weeks and months. These three best-notch Leaders make for a strong crew to guide us ahead.”

Serving as CEO due to the fact 2004, Kelly, 66, has led Southwest by way of some of the airline industry’s most turbulent times. Kelly is a 35-yr Southwest veteran who began his occupation at Southwest Airways as Controller, shifting up to Main Money Officer and Vice President Finance, then Executive Vice President and CFO, before being promoted to CEO and Vice Chairman in July 2004. He assumed the roles of Chairman and President in 2008. In January 2017, Kelly relinquished the title of President and named previous Southwest Board Member and Govt Tom Nealon to the govt workforce as President. Prior to becoming a member of Southwest Airways in 1986, Kelly was a CPA for Arthur Younger & Firm in Dallas and Controller for Systems Centre, Inc.

Kelly has normally explained his greatest supply of satisfaction is the simple fact that Southwest Airlines has by no means experienced a solitary layoff or furlough in the airline’s 50-year heritage. As CEO, he has guided the airline’s transformation via a number of big initiatives, which includes the acquisition of AirTran Airways, the repeal of the Wright Amendment, the start of global places for the first time in Southwest’s historical past, the installment of a new reservation process, introduction of a new recurrent flyer program, debut of the new Heart model and livery, initiation of the extended-awaited provider to Hawaii, and the introduction of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 into the airline’s fleet —all even though being true to the Company’s core values and Men and women-centric Society.

“The airline has a powerful Leadership staff, and the Board has often taken very seriously its purpose to oversee a potent succession plan for the best Management roles,” reported William Cunningham, Southwest’s Lead Director on the Board. “Gary has been an superb CEO for Southwest for practically two many years and has designed an excellent team of Senior Leaders to shepherd the airline into its up coming 50 yrs. We are thrilled he is eager to keep on to provide as the Board’s Govt Chairman, matter to the yearly elections system. Bob inherits a good approach and excellent momentum to go on the airline’s recovery as the COVID pandemic wanes. Bob has the Board’s comprehensive support.”

Jordan, 60, is a prolonged-time Southwest Govt with wide and deep knowledge. Signing up for the airline in 1988, he has served in roles which includes Director of Revenue Accounting, Corporate Controller, Vice President Procurement, Vice President Technology, Senior Vice President Business Devote Management, Govt Vice President Strategy and Technological know-how, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, AirTran President and Govt Vice President Corporate Expert services. Throughout his tenure, he has led many sizeable transformational jobs, like the acquisition of AirTran Airways, the growth of the new e-commerce system, the Quick Benefits loyalty application, and our improved boarding system. Most just lately, Jordan led the endeavours for the Firm’s voluntary go away and early separation programs, which had been crucial to lowering the airline’s labor expenditures throughout the pandemic and instrumental in preventing layoffs and furlough actions.

Prior to Southwest, Jordan labored for Hewlett-Packard as a programmer and economic analyst. He holds bachelor’s and master’s levels from Texas A&M College. He joined Coppell-primarily based The Container Store’s Board of Directors in 2013 and presently serves as its Lead Director. He and spouse, Kelly, stay in Flower Mound and have two grownup young children and two grandchildren.

“I am humbled, honored, and fired up to be requested to provide as the next CEO,” Jordan stated. “The Coronary heart of Southwest is our Folks they make the distinction for our Buyers, and I glance ahead to serving them. We have a marvelous workforce of Leaders, many of whom I have experienced the joy of functioning together with for decades. I am looking ahead to functioning with Gary, Mike and Tom on the changeover hard work and location up Southwest for the next 50 yrs of giving Buyers the Liberty to Fly.”

In its 50th year of services, Dallas-primarily based Southwest Airlines Co. continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Buyer Service delivered by far more than 56,000 Employees to a Shopper base that topped 130 million Passengers in 2019. Southwest has a robust network of place-to-position service with a strong existence throughout top rated leisure and enterprise marketplaces. In peak travel seasons for the duration of 2019, Southwest operated a lot more than 4,000 weekday departures amongst a network of 101 destinations in the United States and 10 additional nations around the world. In 2020, the provider extra service to Hilo, Hawaii Cozumel, Mexico Miami Palm Springs, Calif. Steamboat Springs and Montrose (Telluride/Crested Butte), Colo. Thus much in 2021, Southwest has initiated company to Chicago (O’Hare) and Sarasota/ Bradenton, equally on Feb. 14 Savannah/Hilton Head and Colorado Springs, Colo., the two on March 11 Houston (Bush) and Santa Barbara, Calif., each on April 12 Fresno, Calif., on April 25 Destin/Fort Walton Seaside on Might 6 Myrtle Seashore S.C., on May possibly 23 Bozeman, Mont., on May well 27 and Jackson, Miss out on., on June 6. The airline will start service to Eugene, Ore., on Aug. 29 Bellingham, Clean., on Nov. 7 and Syracuse, NY, on Nov. 14.

The carrier issued its Southwest® Guarantee in May perhaps 2020 to emphasize new and spherical-the-clock initiatives to assist its Consumers and Employees perfectly-being and comfort and ease. Between the improvements are enhanced cleansing efforts at airports and onboard plane, alongside with a federal mandate requiring every single man or woman to use a mask at all instances all through just about every flight. Added specifics about the Southwest Assure are out there at     

Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of managing Prospects truthfully and pretty, and lower fares basically keeping low. Southwest is the only key U.S. airline to give luggage fly cost-free® to all people (initially and next checked items of baggage, size and pounds limitations utilize, some carriers offer you free of charge checked bags on pick routes or in qualified instances). Southwest does not demand alter service fees, although fare distinctions could use.   

Southwest is just one of the most honored airlines in the earth, recognised for a triple bottom line tactic that contributes to the carrier’s functionality and productivity, the significance of its People and the communities they serve, and an total motivation to efficiency and the world. Learn extra about how the provider offers back to communities throughout the planet by visiting

E-book Southwest Airlines’ low fares on-line at or by telephone at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA®. 


Source Southwest Airways Co.

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