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Southwest Airlines Welcomes New CEO Bob Jordan, Pays Tribute to Legendary Boss Gary C. Kelly

Today, Southwest Airlines has officially welcomed the airline’s new Chief Executive Officer, Bob Jordan. The carrier also paid tribute to the company’s former CEO, Gary C. Kelly, who held the top job at the airline since 2004.


Southwest Airlines' New Chief Executive Officer, Robert Jordan - Courtesy Southwest Airlines

On Monday (February 1st, 2021), Southwest Airlines welcomed their new Chief Executive Officer, Robert Jordan. Mr. Jordan (60) joined Southwest in 1988 and has served in roles including Director of Revenue Accounting, Corporate Controller, Vice President Procurement, Vice President Technology, SVP Enterprise Spend Management, EVP Strategy & Technology, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, as well as AirTran President and Executive Vice President Corporate Services. Most recently, he led the efforts for the company’s voluntary leave and early separation programs, which were key in reducing labor expenses, while avoiding layoffs and furloughs.


A Letter From Southwest Airlines' New CEO, Bob Jordan - Courtesy Southwest Airlines

The Infographic Above Provides Additional Personal Information About Southwest Airlines' New CEO, Bob Jordan - Courtesy Southwest Airlines


Southwest Airlines' Former Chief Executive Officer, Gary C. Kelly - Courtesy Southwest Airlines

The company also paid tribute today to Gary C. Kelly, the company’s outgoing Chief Executive Officer. Gary Kelly (66) served as the airline’s CEO from 2004 through 2022, leading the company through some of the industry’s most turbulent periods. Mr. Kelly began his career with Southwest Airline 35 years ago as Controller, moving up to Chief Financial Officer, Vice President of Finance and Executive Vice President and CFO, before being promoted in July 2004 to Vice Chairman and CEO. In 2008, Mr. Kelly assumed the roles of Chairman and President, relinquishing the role of President to former Southwest Board Member and Executive, Tom Nealon, in January 2017. Prior to joining Southwest in 1986, Gary Kelly was a CPA for Arthur Young & Company in Dallas and Controller for Systems Center, Inc.


As the airline’s CEO, Gary Kelly guided the airline’s transformation through several major initiatives including the acquisition of AirTran Airways, the repeal of the Wright Amendment, the launch of international and Hawaii service, the installation of a new reservation system, the introduction of a new frequent flyer program, the debut of the new Heart brand and livery, and the introduction of the Boeing 737-8 MAX to the Airline’s fleet.


Southwest Pays Tribute to Legendary CEO, Gary C. Kelly - Courtesy Southwest Airlines


Celebrating over 50 years of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) has distinguished itself by offering exemplary customer service delivered by over 56,000 team members. Southwest offers a robust point-to-point network with a strong presence across leisure and business markets. In 2019, the carrier served 130 million passengers. During peak travel seasons, the airline operates more than 4,000 daily departures to 101 destinations across the U.S. and 10 additional countries. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, based on the number of originating passengers boarded, Southwest has been the largest U.S. domestic carrier since 2003.



Source: Southwest Airlines

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