• Joe Breitfeller

Alaska Airlines Chief Executive Brad Tilden Announces Retirement, Will Remain Board Chair

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Alaska Air’s Group board announced today that Chief Executive Officer Brad Tilden will retire on March 31, 2021, while continuing to serve as Board Chairman. The carrier’s President and Board Member, Ben Minicucci will become CEO.


(Left to Right) Future Alaska Airlines Group's CEO Ben Minicucci and Current CEO Brad Tilden - Courtesy Alaska Airlines

On Monday (November 9, 2020), Alaska Air Group’s Board of Directors announced that CEO Brad Tilden will retire as CEO effective March 31, 2020, while continuing to serve as the Group’s Board Chairman. Alaska Air’s President and Board Member Ben Minicucci will succeed Tilden as Chief Executive Officer. In Monday’s announcement, Mr. Tilden, said,


"We are through the initial phases of our coronavirus response, and Alaska is on a solid trajectory. Now is the time to position Alaska for future growth, and now is the time to move forward with this long-planned transition. Ben has proven himself over a long career as a person who cares passionately about our people and our culture, as a leader who builds strong teams and produces results, and as a person who will work tirelessly to push this great company forward. He has earned this role, and I look forward to supporting him as board chair."


Also commenting on Monday’s management transition announcement, Alaska Air’s Lead Independent Director, Patricia Bedient, added,

"This announcement is the culmination of a multi-year succession planning process. The board has complete confidence in Ben's ability to lead Alaska to great success in the years to come. We are also grateful to Brad for his outstanding leadership during his eight years as CEO. With Ben as CEO and Brad continuing as chair, Alaska's future is bright."

Speaking on his future role as Alaska Air Group’s CEO, Ben Minicucci, commented,

"I am honored and humbled by this incredible opportunity, and profoundly grateful for Brad's leadership and partnership. Our company is built on the strength of its people and our values, and I am so proud of who we are and all we have accomplished. The way in which our employees have navigated through challenges is truly inspiring – and the last nine months is no exception. I'm excited and optimistic about our future as we continue this journey together."


Mr. Minicucci’s career with Alaska Airlines spans 16 years where he served in various roles of increasing responsibility, becoming President of the carrier and CEO of Virgin America after the 2016 acquisition. Between 2009-2016, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, where he implemented a customer service framework which empowered team members to deliver personal and kind-hearted service to guests. Mr. Minicucci holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Royalty Military College of Canada and served in the Canadian military for 14 years. He has two children and lives in Issaquah, Washington.


Alaska Airlines and their regional partners serve over 115 destinations in the United States and North America, providing essential service for their guests and critical cargo shipments. The carrier has hubs in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland and Anchorage and is known for low fares, excellent service and sustainability efforts. The award-winning airline serves over 47 million guests annually and has been named “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers in North America” by J.D. Power for the last 12 years. Along with their Global Partners, Alaska Airlines’ guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 800 global destinations. On March 31, 2021, Alaska Airlines will become a member of the oneworld global alliance.


Source: Alaska Airlines

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