Southwest Airlines Boosts Cybersecurity Leadership, Names New Chief Information Security Officer

The airline's vice president of technology, cybersecurity has been elevated to the role of VP and CISO overseeing cybersecurity across the airline's facilities, airports, and aircraft. With the shift, another technology leader will transition to focus on technology platforms and architecture

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has announced the promotion of Carrie Mills from vice president of technology and cybersecurity to vice president and chief information security officer (CISO), effective March 16.

In her new role, Mills will be in charge of various aspects of cybersecurity across the airline’s facilities, airports, and aircraft, including “security engineering, security operations, incident response, threat intelligence, risk and compliance, and vulnerability management,” according to Southwest.

The airline noted that Mills “has a long-standing passion for cybersecurity.” The incoming CISO joined Southwest in 2017 as the senior manager of cybersecurity threat intelligence and response. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in management information systems from the University of Oklahoma and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Southwest said Mills’s “domain expertise and Leadership talents have been invaluable in evolving Southwest’s cybersecurity capabilities.”

With Mills’s shift in responsibility, Jim Dayton, vice president & CISO technology, will become vice president technology—platforms and architecture.

Dayton will now focus on building modern foundational data, developing technology platforms, and overseeing the technical design of Southwest’s systems to “continue [to] bolster the resiliency, security, and effectiveness of Southwest’s technology solutions,” the company said.

“Both [Mills] and [Dayton] are excellent leaders within our Technology Department, and the evolution of their functions is essential as we continue the ongoing work of modernization,” said Southwest Airlines Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Lauren Woods in a statement.

Southwest Airlines Co. operates a highly admired and awarded airline, providing its unique value and hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. The airline began operations in 1971 with the goal of democratizing air travel through friendly, reliable, and low-cost services. According to Southwest, it now “carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline.”

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