Southwest Airlines and Gary Kelly

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Case Analysis Southwest Airlines and Gary Kelly
Oscar A. Anzaldua
Davenport University

Southwest Airlines Company is a well-known low-cost American airline that offers excellent customer and employee service. As of 2009 Southwest is the largest airline company in the world that carries the most number of passengers and it is the third largest passenger fleet of aircraft among the world’s commercial airlines. It also boasts the highest number of customers than any other airlines in the United States. This data come from the U.S. Department of transportation’s Bureau of transportation Statistics. Given the above information, Southwest has been posting profits for the past 37 years [3]. The reason why Southwest has been able to cope with the changing economy and other issues is due to the company’s successful business model, which involves flying multiple short trips into secondary airport of major markets and also with how the company is corporately structured. One other factor that has helped Southwest be profitable is that it only uses one type of aircraft which is a Boeing 737[1].

Southwest Airlines would not be the company it is without having a superb leader. It takes a good leader to understand the current economy, market, and internal business to make a company be profitable. As of 2008, the CEO of Southwest Airlines is Gary Kelly. Gary Kelly has been working for the company for the past 23 years. His time spent with the company has given him the edge to understand what the company needs in order to succeed. Gary began his work at Southwest Airlines as a Controller and later on moved up the corporate ladder to become the company’s Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Finance. He was then promoted to Executive Vice President and CFO before being promoted to CEO and Vice Chairman in July 2004. Then in May 2008 Gary was promoted to chairman and President in July 2008 [4].

Gary’s perseverance and dedication has earned him respect among his...
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