Southwest Airlines Faces Shareholder Activism, Reshuffles Leadership To Strengthen Ops

  • After the holiday meltdown with over 16,000 flight cancellations, Southwest Airlines Co LUV announced five department leadership changes to strengthen operations.
  • The company promoted vice president of network planning, Adam Decaire, to SVP of network planning & network operations control (NOC), effective immediately.
  • Related: Southwest's Holiday Crisis Could Cost It Up To First Nine Months Of FY22 Earnings, Analysts Say.
  • "This change creates a tighter feedback loop between schedule design and schedule execution while adding resiliency and reliability to the network," the carrier said.
  • During winter storm Elliott, Southwest's crew scheduling software failed to bear a load of staffing changes.
  • The airline and workers had to manually match crew and planes, which led to substantial waiting times for pilots and cabin crew.
  • The meltdown has drawn the attention of a large public pension system with a history of shareholder activism.
  • According to DiNapoli, Southwest's response to the meltdown has been inadequate.
  • "Clearly this crisis has resulted in profound customer dissatisfaction and is expected to generate significant costs to the company," New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a letter to Southwest Chief Executive Bob Jordan.
  • New York's state pension system owned $17.6 million worth of Southwest stock as of Sept. 30, Wall Street Journal reported citing a securities filing.
  • Price Action: LUV shares closed at $35.59 on Monday.
  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
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