Southwest Pilots Seek CEO’s Ouster, Citing ‘Misguided Focus’

  • Union also calls for replacement of chief operating officer
  • Pilots refer to repeated, widespread computer-system outages

Gary Kelly.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Southwest Airlines Co. pilots called for the replacement of Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly, saying a nationwide computer outage that grounded the carrier last month capped a list of problems caused by a “misguided focus” on cost control and stock performance.
 
“We can no longer sit idly by and watch poor decision after poor decision deeply affect our customers and Southwest Airlines,” Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, said in a statement Monday. The union, representing about 8,000 pilots, also called for the ouster of Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven.

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