Southwest Airlines President To Step Down


Southwest Airlines announced on Monday that its president and chief operating officer (COO) Mike Van de Ven will be stepping down. Van de Ven, who has been with the airline since 1993, will be leaving his role as COO at the end of the month and will step down as president at the end of December. Beginning in 2023, he will become an Executive Advisor for Southwest.

“I want to thank Mike for nearly three decades of Leadership and his unwavering commitment to the cause that is Southwest Airlines,” said Southwest CEO Bob Jordan. “Mike has spent more than 16 years overseeing our operation as Chief of Operations and Chief Operating Officer, helping to usher in a new era for Southwest Airlines through a series of major initiatives, including modernizing our fleet, achieving ETOPS certification, and allowing us to expand our footprint to Hawaii …”

Jordan will be taking on the additional position of president as of Jan. 1, 2023. The airline’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer, Andrew Watterson, will be promoted to COO with senior vice president and chief marketing officer Ryan Green assuming his former role. Those staffing changes will go into effect on Oct. 1.

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Kate O’Connor works as AVweb's Editor-in-Chief. She is a private pilot, certificated aircraft dispatcher, and graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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  1. Southwest has slipped some in recent months. Don’t know what is going on with Southwest, but they better resume returning to the policies that made them a major carrier in the first place. I am referring to the treatment of their employees among other policies.

  2. 5 years ago I had to change up my flight due to a death in the family. Southwest was quite accommodating. The costs to do this was less than $10.00. Whenever I have to fly commercial, I always look at their website first.