Jill Soltau to Join Southwest Airlines' Board of Directors

Media Release

DALLAS – The Board of Directors of Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has appointed Jill Soltau as a member of the Board, effective February 15. Soltau, along with the other Board nominees, will be on the ballot for the Southwest Airlines 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. 

Soltau served as the Chief Executive Officer of J. C. Penney Company, Inc. from 2018 through 2020. At the time of her appointment at JCPenney’s, she was one of 24 women leading a Fortune 500 company. Through the COVID-19 global pandemic, she successfully led JCPenney’s emergence from a Chapter 11 restructuring process as a private company. Soltau previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of privately held JoAnn Stores, Inc., leading the nation’s largest fabric and crafts retailer from 2015 - 2018.

“Jill is a transformational and innovative leader with vast experience and a proven track record of success throughout her career,” said Gary Kelly, Executive Chairman of the Board for Southwest Airlines. “She brings valuable experience leading companies and in her work advising Boards on a number of critical issues in today’s environment, including areas across DE&I, sustainability, risk management, strategy & development, finance, customer experience, operations, and technology. We’re delighted to onboard Jill—as well as several other key additions in the last couple years—as part of our ongoing efforts to bring a wide range of thoughts, perspectives, experience, and diversity to complement our talented Board of Directors.” 

Soltau is an Independent Board Director of AutoZone, Inc. and Kirkland’s Inc. She is a recent Board Member of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) where she served on the Executive Council on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. She holds a Bachelor of Science, Retail & Business from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI.   

Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world’s most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Having celebrated its 51st Anniversary in 2022, Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline1. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its more than 66,0002 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among as many as 130 million Customers carried a year. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years3 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship. Southwest is also continuing to develop tangible steps toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, including offering Customers an opportunity to help the airline offset its carbon emissions. To be part of the solution, visit Southwest.com/wannaoffsetcarbon

  1. U.S. Dept. of Transportation most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded    
  2. Fulltime-equivalent active Employees     
  3. 1973-2019 annual profitability    

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