Southwest CEO Has 'No Plans To Resign' As Activist Investor Turns Screw (UPDATED)

Zinger Key Points
  • Southwest CEO says company will 'sit down and listen' to activist investor, according to reports.
  • Elliott Investmenrt Management eyes changing open-seating plan.

Editor’s Note: The headline has been revised for clarity, and the article updated with comments from a Southwest spokesperson.

Southwest Airlines Co LUV CEO Bob Jordan is determined to keep his top spot at the company, despite pressure from an activist investor that is looking to shake up the leadership and make other changes.

Jordan said on Wednesday that he will not resign as CEO as the airline endures pressure from Elliott Investment Management, which on Monday called for executive and board changes and is eyeing changes to Southwest’s open-seating policy and other possible revisions, Reuters reported.

“Southwest is focused on building on its strong heritage of innovation and change, and we welcome feedback from all shareholders,” a Southwest spokesperson told Benzinga on Wednesday. “The board is confident in the ability of our CEO and leadership team to evolve the business and drive long-term value for all stakeholders.”

Also read: Analyst Expectations For Southwest Airlines’s Future

Talking to reporters in Washington after an event, Jordan said the air carrier will “sit down and listen to them”, but he also said “I have no plans to resign” as CEO of Southwest, having worked there for 36 years, according to Reuters.

He said Southwest expects to receive only 20 planes from Boeing Co BA this year, down from 80 planes forecasted initially from the aerospace company.

Jordan is scheduled to meet with the head of the Federal Aviation Administration later on Wednesday to discuss Boeing, after visiting Boeing supplier Spirit AeroSystems SPR to discuss quality issues. He plans to visit Boeing again in two weeks.

Jordan said he had heard Elliott may propose bag fees, but Southwest said its customer data shows that nearly 50% of its customers pick the airline because of its no-bag fee policy.

But he also told reporters that Southwest is considering changes to its open-seating policy and possibly adding premium seating or extra leg-room seats, Reuters said.

Southwest plans to unveil a “very broad plan” at an investor day in September, Jordan said.

LUV Price action: Southwest shares have risen 1.03% to $28.34 at the time of publication Wednesday.

Read now: Southwest Airlines Unusual Options Activity

Photo: World Photos/

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