Southwest Focuses On Operations, Planning & Perks With 5 Executive Promotions

Southwest Airlines is elevating five veteran leaders to vice president roles bolstering its operations, planning, customer perks, and more. The strategic promotions are a continuation of the airline's restructuring efforts started in September 2022.

Southwest Airlines announced five leadership promotions on Wednesday as the Dallas-based carrier continues an organizational restructuring begun last fall. The new assignments focus on improving network planning, flight operations, fleet management, and employee incentives — crucial areas for Southwest as it flies into the future.

“Strong Leadership is built upon serving, and Southwest Airlines boasts a longstanding tradition of remarkable Leaders who consistently prioritize the needs of our Employees and Customers over their own,” Bob Jordan, president and CEO at Southwest Airlines, said in a statement.

Lori Winters will take over as VP of Total Rewards, responsible for overseeing Southwest’s compensation, retirement, labor, benefits, travel, and perks strategy. Winters has been with Southwest since 2006 and led teams focused on employee experience. The exec takes over the role previously held by Danny Collins, former vice president Total Rewards.

Jon Stephens rose to VP of Fleet Management, providing strategic direction for Southwest’s fleet of over 800 Boeing 737 aircraft. Stephens has been with Southwest for 24 years, starting in the tax department and including 12 years helping build the airline’s fleet management team.

Steve West, a 40-year company veteran, was elevated to vice president of Network Operations Control, overseeing Southwest’s daily flight operations and scheduling. With over 20 years of leadership experience, including roles overseeing dispatch and flight coordination, West will be critical for on-time performance. The network operations leadership change follows the retirement last year of Matt Hafner, Southwest’s longtime VP of Network Operations Control.

Additionally, two new VPs will oversee improved coordination between network planning and daily operations.

Matt Muehleisen will become VP of Network Operations Planning, a role created to bridge planning and execution. Muehleisen leads the newly formed network operations planning team, establishing a near-term planning function and continuing its strong focus on supporting and enhancing operational performance and safety.

Brook Sorem rose to VP of Network Planning, where he’s responsible for network planning, schedule creation, capacity planning, and airline partnerships. The exec has spent over 30 years at Southwest supporting every function within the department to create and refine innovative solutions that address complex industry challenges, the airline said.

“I extend my sincere appreciation to Matt Hafner for his 35 years of service at Southwest Airlines. I’m also thankful to Lori, Steve, Jon, Brook, and Matt [Muehleisen] for assuming crucial roles that significantly contribute to our ongoing success.” Jordan added.

Quincy Preston contributed to this report. 

Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.

Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.

One quick signup, and you’re done.  

R E A D   N E X T