Southwest COO takes charge as the next president

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United States-based low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines (LUV) announced a change in leadership with the retirement of its former president Tom Nealon on September 13, 2021. 

Nealon has retired as president but will continue to serve as a strategic advisor for the airline’s environmental sustainability and carbon emissions reduction plan.

“I’m honored to have served Southwest throughout the years in several different capacities,” said Tom Nealon, Southwest Airlines’ (LUV) former president. “I look forward to continuing to serve and advise Southwest on strategic initiatives, and most importantly, on the airline’s long-term environmental sustainability plans.”

Southwest’s chief operations officer Mike Van de Ven was announced as the airline’s new president effective from September 13, 2021.

“I’m grateful Tom will continue serving as a strategic advisor,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines’ (LUV) chairman, and CEO. “I’m thrilled for Mike as he assumes his new role as President, in addition to COO.”

The transition efforts are an initiative to facilitate the incoming and next chief executive of Southwest Airlines (LUV) ‒ Bob Jordan.

“The transition efforts being led by executive vice president and incoming CEO Bob Jordan are going extremely well, and as that continues, we are taking steps to shift reporting roles in preparation for Bob to assume the CEO role on February 1, 2022,” added Kelly.

The airline’s executive board also announced executive role promotions in communications, investor relations, legal counsel, and technology departments.

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