Gary Kelly, chief govt officer of Southwest Airways Co., speaks throughout an occasion inside the brand new Southwest Airways Co. worldwide termina
Gary Kelly, chief govt officer of Southwest Airways Co., speaks throughout an occasion inside the brand new Southwest Airways Co. worldwide terminal on the William P. Pastime Airport in Houston, Texas.
Carter Smith | Bloomberg | Getty Photos
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly will step down subsequent yr, capping greater than 17 years on the helm, the place he grew the service and guided it via crises from the Nice Recession to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Dallas-based airline named greater than three-decade firm veteran Bob Jordan, govt vp of company companies, as Kelly’s successor, tasking him with main the corporate’s restoration. He’ll begin Feb. 1, 2022.
“I believe now’s actually the proper time,” Kelly, 66, mentioned in an interview. “We have stabilized.”
Kelly will maintain the function of govt chairman till “no less than” 2026, the corporate mentioned.
Kelly has been within the prime job on the airline through the monetary disaster, a merger, an aggressive enlargement and the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max. The pandemic devastated journey demand and final yr pushed Southwest to its first annual loss since 1972.
Southwest is now attempting to regain its footing and capitalize on a leap in journey demand. That surge is coming from U.S. home leisure clients. Southwest’s focus because it carries extra U.S. passengers than every other airline.
Southwest final month reported…