Southwest CEO's ambition to rule the skies

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Southwest CEO's ambition to rule the skies

Postby Greg on Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:29 pm

With trim, greying hair, a tall, athletic frame and the unhurried lilt to his voice that hints at his Texas roots, Gary Kelly could easily pass as an executive of any one of the old-guard rivals with which he spars as chairman of Southwest Airlines.

At a time when Southwest, the quirky Dallas carrier that revolutionised the commercial aviation industry, is becoming more like global behemoths such as crosstown rival American Airlines, it seems only fitting that its chairman resembles his counterparts, too. Yet the framed photograph of the 53-year-old Mr Kelly, dressed in full make-up as Gene Simmons, the Kiss guitarist, which hangs just around the corner from his office proves that Southwest remains a breed apart from its traditional peers.

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