Bob Jordan Promoted To President Of AirTran Airways
Following its acquisition of AirTran Airways on Monday,
Southwest Airlines announced to the Employees of both airlines
today the new leadership structure for the combined Company.
"This has certainly been an exciting week! It has been
gratifying to hear reports from all around our system of the many
ways that the Southwest Employees and the AirTran Crew Members
began the process of welcoming each other to our newly expanded
family. We certainly have much work ahead of us, and one of the
first steps is assembling our Officer Team," said Gary Kelly,
Chairman, President, and CEO of Southwest Airlines.
On Monday, Bob Jordan, Southwest's Executive Vice President of
Strategy and Planning, assumed the title of President of AirTran
Airways, and continues to report to Kelly, as he maintains his
current responsibilities for Southwest's Technology, Finance,
Internal Audit, and Corporate Planning Departments, while leading
AirTran through the integration period. Bob Fornaro, who has served
as Chairman, President, and CEO at AirTran, is in a key new role as
a full-time consultant for the integration of the two airlines,
working closely with Kelly and Jordan to ensure a smooth
Brian Hirshman, Southwest's current Vice President Maintenance
& Engineering is being promoted to Senior Vice President
Technical Operations effective June 1. Hirshman will join the
Company's Executive Planning Committee and will continue reporting
to Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Mike Van
de Ven. Vice President Maintenance Operations Jim Sokol will
continue to report to Hirshman. Additionally, Kirk Thornburg who
has served as AirTran Vice President Maintenance and Engineering
will move to report to Hirshman and will serve in a new role as
Southwest Airlines Vice President Technical Services.
Also effective June 1, Teresa Laraba will assume the title of
Senior Vice President Customer Services and Training, as she will
add overall senior oversight to the operational training functions.
Laraba's existing role in Customer Services will remain unchanged
as she will continue to have overall responsibility for the
Customer Service areas within Customer Support & Services,
Customer Relations, and Ground Operations. Laraba will continue to
report to Van de Ven.
Until a single operating certificate is secured from the FAA,
AirTran Operational Departments will continue operating under the
AirTran operating certificate with the full authority of its
operating teams led by Klaus Goersch, AirTran's Executive Vice
President Operations and Customer Service. Goersch will report
directly to Jordan, and will work closely with Van de Ven.
Maintaining their current reporting structure into Goersch will
- AirTran Vice President Operations Jim Tabor,
- AirTran Vice President Flight Operations Jeff Miller, and
- AirTran Senior Vice President Customer Service Jack Smith.
Additionally, AirTran Vice President Inflight Service Peggy
Sauer-Clark and AirTran Director Reservations Fred Cannon will both
continue to report to Smith. Jim Trebilcock, currently serving as
Director Maintenance Operations at AirTran, will transition to
oversee the day-to-day Maintenance operations at AirTran until the
companies have achieved a single operating certificate. Trebilcock
will report to Goersch.
Joining Goersch in reporting directly to Bob Jordan will be
AirTran Senior Vice Presidents Kevin Healy, Loral Blinde, and Arne
Additional Leaders who do not support the daily operation will
be incorporated into Southwest's existing organizational structure
for the interim:
- AirTran Executive Vice President & General Counsel Steve
Rossum moves into a consulting role for Southwest Airlines and will
provide input and strategy to Southwest's Executive Vice President
Corporate Services Ron Ricks.
- AirTran Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Rocky Wiggins remains Senior Vice President for AirTran, reporting
directly to Southwest Vice President Technology and Chief
Information Officer Jan Marshall.
- AirTran Vice President Tad Hutcheson now reports to Bob Jordan,
but will work closely with Southwest's Vice President Marketing,
Sales, and Distribution Kevin Krone, Southwest's Senior Vice
President and Chief Marketing Officer Dave Ridley, and Southwest's
Vice President Communication and Strategic Outreach Linda
- AirTran Vice President Mark Osterberg reports to Southwest's
Vice President Controller Leah Koontz..
"We have an exceptional Team of Leaders—the strongest, I
believe in our Company's history. I am more than delighted to have
the opportunity to work with each of them and I am excited about
the Leadership, experience, and insights we will gain from the
Leaders at AirTran," Kelly said.