Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Herb Kelleher

Today we honor Herb Kelleher (born 1931) for co-founding and leading Southwest Airlines. Kelleher, along with Rollin King, started Southwest Airlines in 1967. As a low-cost airline in Texas, Southwest faced legal battles from larger airlines just to legally fly. Some credit the legal battles as the beginning of airline deregulation.

Kelleher maintained his vision of a low cost airline for more than 40 years as CEO and/or Chairman of the Board of Directors. He helped take the airline from being a small Texas only airline to a company that has over $9 billion in revenues. Under Kelleher's leadership, Southwest developed a method of fuel hedging, started the first airline web site, and decreased turn around times to 20 minutes! This all translates lower cost of operation, and many airlines have followed suit.

Kelleher is credited with creating a dynamic corporate culture that thrives innovation. His use of private property created wealth for himself, Southwest Air and the everyday person who depends on airplanes for transport.

Herb Kelleher on Wikipedia
Southwest on Wikipedia
Southwest's official website
Southwest's 2007 annual report

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