Southwest Airlines announces leadership change

Southwest Airlines announces leadership change

DALLAS, TX, 2022-Mar-18 — /Travel PR News/ — Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) today (Mar 16, 2022) announced several Leadership promotions and new Executives.

Southwest® welcomes onboard Christa Lucas as Vice President Governmental Affairs. Lucas joins Southwest from the National Business Aviation Association, where she was Senior Vice President and led its government affairs, policy, and advocacy efforts. She will report to Senior Vice President Governmental Affairs & Real Estate Jason Van Eaton and will lead the Team responsible for developing and implementing Southwest’s outreach to the U.S. Congress, the federal administration, state and local governments, and the aviation community. Prior to the National Business Aviation Association, Lucas held senior-level positions at the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration. Her background includes oversight of a broad portfolio covering domestic and global aviation and international trade. Additionally, she worked to advance airport and aviation policies and priorities with Congress and industry stakeholders. Lucas received her bachelor’s degree from Franklin and Marshall College and her master’s degree in public policy from the George Washington University.

Phil Gouel has been promoted from Senior Director Corporate Strategy to Vice President, Vacation Packages. In this newly-created role, Gouel will report to Vice President Marketing Jonathan Clarkson and will be responsible for leading the evolution of the Southwest Vacations® product, along with Southwest’s standalone hotel and car ancillary products. Foremost, Gouel will be charged with creating the Vacation Packages organization and ultimately leading to a steady state success with a Vacations product that’s loved by Customers and also delivers against Commercial targets. He will be accountable for defining and achieving Southwest Vacations near and long-term strategy, objectives, and vision. Gouel received a master’s degree in engineering, a doctoral degree from the University of Michigan in Industrial and Operations Engineering, and a bachelor of science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland.

Captain Lee Kinnebrew has been promoted from Senior Director Training & Standards to Vice President Flight Operations. Kinnebrew has been with Southwest for 24 years, most recently serving as the Senior Director of Flight Operations Training and Standards. In this role, Kinnebrew will provide leadership for Southwest’s Pilots and numerous supporting Teams, and will report to Senior Vice President Air Operations Alan Kasher. Kinnebrew began his Southwest Airlines® career as a First Officer, before working in the Training Center teaching Cockpit Procedures Trainers and classroom curriculum. He’s held various roles at Southwest, including working as an Interview Team Member, SWAPA Flight Data Analysis Program (FDAP) Gatekeeper, Captain, Aviation Safety Action Partnership (ASAP) Program Event Review Team (ERT) Member, Manager of FDAP and ASAP, Check Airman, and Director of Flight Training and Director of Standards. He received a Bachelor of Science from Louisiana Tech University with a Professional Aviation major and a minor in Flight Engineering.

Lindsey Lang has been promoted from Senior Director Human Resource Business Partner (HRBP) & Talent Management to Vice President People. In addition to continuing to oversee the HRBP Team, Lang is now responsible for developing and executing Southwest’s human resource strategy. She’ll also support all People strategies and have oversight of Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, HR Technology, and Employee Services. Lang joined Southwest in 2001 and has held various roles within the People Department, including Recruiter, Team Leader Onboarding, Sr. HRBP, Manager, Sr. Manager, and Director HRBP before assuming her most recent role. Lang received her bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Kansas.

Bobby Loeb has been promoted from Senior Director Training to Vice President SWA U. In his new role, Loeb will provide Leadership for Employee learning, including corporate training initiatives and operational training programs for the Ground Operations, Inflight, Provisioning, Cargo, Customer Support & Services, and Customer Relations Departments. He joined the Southwest Family in 1994, and since then, he’s held various roles at Southwest, including Ramp Agent, Ops Agent, Manager Ramp and Ops, Ramp Instructor, Manager Ramp and Ops Training, and Director of Ground Ops Training. As Sr. Director Training, Loeb led the Customer Delivery Team overseeing Ground Operations, Inflight, Customer Support & Services, Customer Relations, and Source of Support training. Most recently, he’s supported the Center of Excellence, which includes our Learning Programs, Learning Design and Development, Learning Technology, and Support Services Teams. Loeb received a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management from Henderson State University.

Kristi Owens has been promoted from Senior Director Training to Vice President Talent & Leadership Development. In addition to her continued support of Leadership and Employee Development, Owens will provide oversight for Talent Management, Organizational Design, and Succession Planning in this newly-created role. Owens joined Southwest as an Intern nearly 23 years ago before joining Southwest as a Business Analyst. She then transitioned to the University for People (U4P) as a Learning Technology Specialist. She has led a number of major initiatives during her tenure, including training, change, and communication efforts related to a large software implementation, and she has helped lead Learning Technology, the Center of Excellence, and Leadership and Employee Development. Owens received a Bachelor’s of Business from The University of Oklahoma, where she majored in Management Information Systems with a minor in Management.

Lang, Loeb, and Owens will all report to Senior Vice President of People, Learning & Development Elizabeth Bryant.


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. Celebrating its 50th Anniversary in 2021, 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 55,0002 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 continues to develop tangible steps toward an environmental sustainability goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, including offering an opportunity for Customers to contribute toward helping Southwest offset its carbon emissions. For more information, please visit Learn more at about how Southwest Airlines leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world.

  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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Source: Southwest Airlines