New Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan Begins First Day in Work

Southwest Airlines incoming CEO Bob Jordan. // Photo by Stephen M. Keller

LONDON – The new Southwest Airlines CEO Bob Jordan has begun his first day in the new position at the airline, having taken over from Gary Kelly.

Jordan has started his first day strong, by addressing his workforce in an open and public letter.

It reads:

“I hope 2022 ushers in a new year of promise and brings even more opportunities to gather with those you cherish most.”

“All of us at Southwest Airlines thrive on making those moments happen—whether it’s reconnecting families, getting you to a much-needed vacation, or taking you to that important business meeting.”

“We appreciate the time you share with us, and we are committed to showing you our Hospitality every step of the way. ”

For me, this is a season of gratitude and anticipation. After more than 30 years at Southwest, I have the privilege of stepping into the role of CEO on February 1.”

“When I started at Southwest in 1988 as a programmer, I never dreamed this could be possible, but at Southwest Airlines, all things are possible.”

“It’s an honor to serve you and our People; I’m humbled by the opportunity, ready for the job, and excited about what’s ahead for our great Company.”

“So much has changed during my more than three decades with Southwest – from plastic boarding passes to paper tickets to putting flight information in the palm of your hands.”

“Across every chapter, our longstanding commitment to making your travel experience easier is steadfast.”

“As technology continues to evolve, we’re dedicated to modernizing your Customer Experience without losing sight of what’s served us so well for the past 50 years: offering a low-cost, high-quality travel experience, when and where you want to fly; ensuring operational reliability, and delivering unique, unrivaled Hospitality.”

“And you’ll see our Heart everywhere you look, not just at 35,000 feet.”

“We are dedicated to “doing well by doing good” through our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce that reflects the Customers we serve, and by developing tangible steps toward an environmental sustainability goal that achieves carbon neutrality by 2050.”

“We champion causes that matter most because we’re more than an airline; we’re your neighbors, and some of our most important work is done on the ground.”

“We celebrated the 50th Anniversary of our first flight last June, a bright moment in the midst of this pandemic for all of us to reflect on decades of delivering friendly, reliable, and affordable air travel to hundreds of millions of people.”

“And as we enter a new year, each one of us is dedicated to taking care of you, helping you get to those you love most, and demonstrating courage, resilience, and above all, our Heart.”

“On behalf of our Southwest Family, thanks for entrusting and choosing us for your travel needs—in the past, in the present, and in the promising future ahead of us all. Hope to see you onboard very soon.”

Departing CEO Gary Kelly took to Twitter to comment on his departure, thanking his workforce for their support:

“Today is bittersweet as I transition the CEO role at Southwest and pass the reins to the very capable hands of my friend, Bob Jordan. I can’t wait to see the amazing things in store under Bob’s Leadership.”

“I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to our customers and nearly 54,000 Employees for making these past 18 years so incredibly special, and full of Heart.”

Jordan will now have the challenge of bringing the airline into a more stable level of profitability after the pandemic has caused them to generate its first set of losses since its creating over four decades ago.

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