Southwest shakes up its technology leaders


Southwest Airlines has announced several leadership changes within its technology and marketing departments. A key appointment is the promotion of Tony Roach to the role of managing director of customer experience. Roach moves from the position of senior director of customer experience, and in his new role he will continue to lead all of the airline’s customer experience efforts, including the customer experience vision, the onboard and airport experience, governance structure, cross-functional customer plan, enhancements to customer-facing channels, and the reaccommodation experience during travel disruptions.

Tom Merritt now adds chief technology officer to his role as VP of technology – infrastructure & services. The Enterprise Architect Team will transition from being a standalone organisation and merge with the Infrastructure & Services organisation, adding to Merritt’s responsibilities.

Southwest is also promoting Jeff Jones from managing director, to VP of technology – commercial & customer. Jones’s continued leadership over this combined portfolio will continue to play a critical role in the overall success of the technology department.

Meanwhile John Herlihy moves from being senior director of technology to managing director of technology – technical operations. Herlihy will provide leadership oversight to a dedicated portfolio of the company’s maintenance and engineering teams to complete the delivery of several key company and technology deliverables, including the technology system that will run all of the maintenance tracking and compliance to help manage the fleet.

Jones, Herlihy, and Merritt will all report to Southwest’s SVP and chief information officer, Kathleen Wayton.

Southwest has also promoted Bill Tierney from managing director of marketing to VP of marketing. With his promotion, Tierney’s scope will expand by aligning all of the company’s go-to-market teams under his leadership, including the Brand and Digital Solutions Teams, and he will continue to provide oversight of the Marketing Strategy, Marketing Communications, and Experiential Marketing Teams. Both Roach and Tierney will report to Southwest’s SVP and chief marketing officer, Ryan Green.

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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