Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today announced the promotion of Linda Rutherford to Senior Vice President, Chief Communications Officer. With the promotion, Rutherford will add the Company's Culture Services Department to her oversight and will report to Executive Vice President Corporate Services Bob Jordan, while continuing to work directly with Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly on communication efforts and Culture activities.
"Linda embodies what it means to Live the Southwest Way, and she has skillfully championed our Communication and Outreach efforts for the past 25 years," Kelly said.
With the addition of Culture Services, Rutherford will continue to oversee the Company's Communication & Outreach efforts, as well as Employee Engagement. She will join the Company's Corporate Services Leadership team and will work with that group to ensure Southwest has the best processes, policies, and tools to serve the airline's growing and diverse workforce.
"Linda is a true visionary who has a passion and a love for our Company that is second to none," said Bob Jordan. "I'm excited to work with Linda and her Teams to continue our legacy of being one of the most admired companies in the world."
Rutherford began her Southwest career in 1992, and she has held several Leadership positions, including Vice President, Chief Communications Officer and Vice President Communication & Outreach. Her responsibilities include overseeing the Company's Media Relations, Employee Communications, Emergency Response and Business Continuity, Strategic Public Relations, Social Business, Charitable Giving and Community Relations, Visual Communication, Employee Engagement & Travel, and Community Affairs and Grassroots. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Texas Tech University.
Honors include: 2016 Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce Business Woman of the Year; 2016 PR Week named one of 36 Women Champions of PR; 2013 Tribute to Success honor by Connections to Success (Kansas City); 2012 inductee into the PR News Measurement Hall of Fame; 2012 Margaret Bush Wilson Lifetime Achievement Award by the St. Louis NAACP; 2011 named a Top Executive in Diversity by Black Enterprise magazine; 2009 inductee into the Texas Tech College of Mass Communications Hall of Fame; 2008 inductee into PR News' Public Relations Hall of Fame.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 47th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) differentiates itself above all other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 55,000 Employees to more than 115 million Customers annually. Southwest became the nation's largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation's most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. Southwest operates more than 4,000 departures a day during peak travel periods among a network of 99 destinations in the United States and nine additional countries. Service to Turks and Caicos begins Nov. 5, 2017.
Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, empowering them to expect a reliably low and uniquely flexible fare from purchase through journey. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply; some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances), and Southwest never charges change fees, though fare differences might apply.
As launch customer of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, the Company operates the largest fleet in the world of Boeing aircraft, all of which are to be equipped with satellite-based WiFi enabling gate-to-gate connectivity as of Oct. 1, 2017. That connectivity enables Customers to use personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. A new logo, aircraft livery, interior design featuring a new seat and Flight Attendant galley, Employee-designed uniforms, and an updated airport experience all showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees who connect Customers with what's important in their lives.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets. With 44 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2016 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at SouthwestOneReport.com.
Book Southwest Airlines' low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines Co.