HomeTop TrendingAppointment of Bob Jordan as incoming Southwest Airlines CEO surprises some experts

Appointment of Bob Jordan as incoming Southwest Airlines CEO surprises some experts

The decision of approaching Southwest Airlines CEO astonishes a few specialists

Sway Jordan will take over as CEO from Gary Kelly compelling Feb. 1 and he talked with the Business Journals about how he arrived.

Gary Kelly will pass the cudgel to another long-lasting Southwest Airlines leader. Robert Jordan, one year from now.

Southwest said today that Kelly, 66, will progress to the chief director and hopes to remain in that part at any rate until 2026. Kelly has been CEO since 2004 and has been with Southwest for a very long time, joining as a regulator.

Jordan, 60, leader VP of corporate administrations, becomes CEO beginning on Feb. 1.


Kelly said that for the Southwest Airlines directorate, I am pleased to report Bob Jordan as CEO. Sway and I have worked next to each other for over 30 years. He is a talented and experienced chief and solid and steady to take on this significant job. Working intimately with president Tom Nealon and head working official Mike Van de Ven, we will start creating change plans in the coming many months. These three first-rate Leaders make for an incredible group to lead us forward.

Kelly has been at Southwest for a very long time, moving gradually up the organization’s money group lastly accepting the situation as the organization’s fifth CEO in 2004. He’s driven the organization through major high points and low points including the 2008 monetary emergency and most as of late the COVID-19 pandemic, where Southwest reacted by adding 19 new objections and figuring out how to turn out in a more grounded monetary situation than any of its rivals.

Kelly has likewise needed to explore the carrier through inconvenience and contention. The organization endured its first installed traveler casualty in 2018, the establishment of its Boeing 737 Max armada in 2019 and 2020, and dangers to vacation laborers except if they consented to wage cuts, albeit the last issue was stayed away from through government financial support.


Kelly said in a meeting with the Dallas Morning News last month that I think the thing I’m generally glad for is that when Herb resigned, we made this guarantee to him that we planned to deal with Southwest Airlines, and I feel like our kin did that.

During Kelly’s time as CEO, Southwest has almost multiplied the number of individuals it utilizes, from 33,000 to begin 2004 to more than 62,000 preceding the COVID-19 pandemic. The transporter has since dropped around 6,000 specialists through exiting the workforce buyouts, however, Kelly expects the organization will begin developing and recruiting again soon. The organization’s income has almost quadrupled more than that opportunity to $22.4 billion every 2019 and Southwest for quite a long while has conveyed more homegrown travelers in the U.S. than any aircraft.

Said Michael Boyd, a flying advisor with Boyd Group International in Colorado that the lone thing he can truly guarantee is a monstrous achievement. It’s hard running that carrier with the number of associations is there, the number of agreement dealings were there and how regularly you need to manage Washington, D.C.

In 2014 under Kelly’s administration, Southwest began its first worldwide course to Nassau in the Bahamas and has since zeroed in its development on courses to relaxation objections in Central America, the Caribbean, and Hawaii.


Yet, a portion of Kelly’s most aggressive work has come during the most recent 16 months as Kelly attempted to fight off monetary fiasco from the COVID-19 pandemic. Southwest, which generally runs a traditionalist course network traveling to fewer objections than its rivals, added 19 new air terminals to its course organization. That extension once in a while happened in business sectors where Southwest previously had a presence, similar to South Florida, Houston, and Chicago, or in more modest objections like Eugene, Oregon, and Bozeman, Montana.

With the transition to leader executive, Kelly follows the very way that Southwest’s notable CEO Herb Kelleher completed 20 years prior when he resigned. Kelleher went through six years as leader administrator before surrendering the director part to Kelly, Kelleher, who passed on in 2019, resigned from the board for all time in 2008.

Jordan has been with the organization close to as long as Kelly, beginning in 1988 and working in an assortment of jobs including boss business official, head of income bookkeeping, corporate regulator, and VP of acquisition. Jordan, who went to class at Texas A&M and acquired a degree in software engineering, begun his vocation as a developer and monetary examiner at Hewlett-Packard.

Jordan said he is lowered regarded to become CEO.

We have an awesome group of Leaders, large numbers of whom I have had the delight of working close by for quite a long time. I’m anticipating working with Gary, Mike, and Tom on the progress exertion and setting up Southwest for the following 50 years of giving Customers the Freedom to Fly.

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