Southwest CEO Gary Kelly leaves his post

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After almost 18 years in the position
  • Praise for Kelly
  • Bob Jordan taking over
  • Kelly will remain as Executive Chairman at Southwest
  • Kelly said 85 words

(exechange) — Dallas, Texas, June 23, 2021 — Gary Kelly, chief executive of Southwest, leaves his post. His departure is made public at an early stage. As announced by Southwest Airlines Co. in a news release on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, Gary C. Kelly leaves his post as chief executive officer at the world’s largest low-cost carrier airline after almost 18 years in the role, effective in early 2022.

It is the end of an era.

Gary Kelly’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Robert (Bob) Jordan, currently Executive Vice President Corporate Services at Southwest Airlines Co.

“A strong succession plan”

Gary Kelly’s departure from the CEO post is explained as follows. William Cunningham, Southwest’s Lead Director on the Board, said: “The airline has a strong Leadership team, and the Board has always taken seriously its role to oversee a strong succession plan for the top Leadership roles.”

Kelly will remain as Executive Chairman at Southwest

“Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly will transition roles in early 2022, becoming the carrier’s Executive Chairman with the desire to serve in that role through at least 2026 at the discretion of the Board of Directors,” Southwest said.

Share price increase since June 2016

The announcement follows an increase in Southwest Airlines Co.’s share price of 31% since June 2016.

In the position of CEO since 2004

Gary Kelly became CEO of the Company in 2004.

Gary C. Kelly has served as the Company’s Chairman of the Board since May 2008 and as its Chief Executive Officer since July 2004.

Kelly also served as the Company’s President from July 2008 to January 2017, Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer from June 2001 to July 2004, and Vice President Finance & Chief Financial Officer from 1989 to 2001.

Kelly joined the Company in 1986 as its Controller.

Kelly began a two-year term, commencing January 1, 2021, as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Airlines for America.

During the past five years, Kelly has served as a Director of one publicly traded company other than Southwest: Lincoln National Corporation (since November 2009).

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding Gary Kelly’s move on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Southwest and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 26.2021 ($).