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Southwest (LUV) COO & President Plans to Retire by Year End

Southwest Airlines Co.LUV recently announced multiple changes in its board of directors.

Mike Van de Ven, president & chief operating officer (COO), announced his plans to retire from his role as COO in September-end and as a president in December-end. Mike will continue as an executive advisor for Southwest at the beginning of 2023. Bob Jordan, chief executive officer (CEO), will take over the additional role of president, effective Jan 1, 2023.

The aforementioned leadership changes will follow multiple other promotions, effective Oct 1, 2022.

Andrew Watterson will be promoted to COO from executive vice president & chief commercial officer. Ryan Green will move up the ranks to become executive vice president & chief commercial officer from senior vice president & chief marketing officer. Linda Rutherford will be promoted to chief administration & communications officer from executive vice president people & communications & chief communications officer.

Bob Jordan, stated, "I want to thank Mike for nearly three decades of Leadership and his unwavering commitment to the cause that is Southwest Airlines. We would not be where we are today without his countless contributions."

Jordan further added, "Mike has led with heart while playing a critical role in transforming our operational capabilities to enable our growth and prosperity. He, alongside his Teams, have laid the foundation to modernize many areas of our complex business and his guidance has kept us moving forward—momentum we can build upon for generations. Mike will spend the next several months working alongside me, Andrew, Linda and our operational Leaders as he works to transition his existing duties."

Considering Mike’s more than 16 years of experience as chief of operations and chief operating officer, his continuation in Southwest Airlines is expected to complement the airline company’s operations and strengthen its competitive position against companies like JetBlue Airways Corporation JBLU, United Airlines Holdings, Inc. UAL and American Airlines Group Inc. AAL.

JetBlue Airways announced the appointment of Kevin Mathison as its vice president of enterprise planning, wherein Kevin will be reporting to Dave Clark, JetBlue’s head of revenue and planning.

United Airlines announced the appointment of Jonathan Ireland as senior vice president of finance. In this new role, Ireland will supervise the carrier's operating cost structure, capital budget and business planning functions. Ireland will also look into the airline's procurement function. Recently, Ireland served as vice president of financial planning and analysis and will continue reporting to Gerry Laderman, United Airlines executive vice president and chief financial officer.

American Airlines recently announced the appointment of Vicente Reynal to its board of directors.


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