Southwest Airlines CEO Kelly stepping down in 2022, will be replaced by company veteran


Gary Kelly, chief executive officer of Southwest Airlines Co., speaks during an event inside the new Southwest Airlines Co. international terminal at the William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas.

Carter Smith | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Southwest Airlines is replacing Gary Kelly as CEO next year with company veteran Robert Jordan, the airline said Wednesday.

Kelly will hold the role of executive chairman until “at least” 2026, the company said.

Kelly, 66, has been CEO since 2004, helming the Dallas-based airline through challenges including the financial crisis and more recently, the Covid-19 pandemic.

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