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    Executives on the Move: Southwest’s CEO Comes in for Landing, Home Depot Exec Takes Top Spot

    February 24, 2022

    2022 is in full swing and some big industry names are wasting no time making some big moves. 

    Catch up on some of the most interesting changes we’ve noted in the C-suite:

    Bob Jordan flies into CEO role at Southwest

    The seatbelt signs are on, and Southwest is prepared to take flight with Bob Jordan as its new CEO.

    Jordan brings a myriad of experience to the table from his 34-year tenure at Southwest, during which he oversaw Southwest’s network expansion and the airline’s acquisition of AirTran. But it’s not all smooth sailing these days at Southwest. Turbulence looms after the COVID-19 pandemic has battered the airline for the past two years. 

    Jordan succeeds Gary Kelly to become the airline’s sixth CEO in its 50-year history. After more than 17 years as CEO, Kelly will stay on as executive chairman, as part of the succession plan unveiled last June. 

    Jordan’s plate is full, facing challenges like surging expenses from fuel to salaries, hiring struggles, and the slow return to travel. He estimates that Southwest cannot fly between 35 to 40 of its 730 Boeing 737 planes due to lack of staff. The plan is to eventually ramp those numbers up to around 1,000 jets. 

    “If we need to — and I’m not predicting we will — we’ll continue to moderate our capacity because we are going to have a reliable operation for customers,” Jordan said in an interview with CNBC.

    Southwest has forecasted a first-quarter loss due to the omicron variant but profits for the rest of the year.

    The Home Depot Builds up a new CEO

    Edward “Ted” Decker plans to show “How Doers Get More Done” when he takes the reins as CEO on March 1.

    During his 22-year tenure at the home improvement giant, Decker held roles in finance, business development and merchandising, and has served as chief operating officer since October 2020.

    The Home Depot’s current Chairman and CEO, Craig Menear, will continue to serve as the company’s board chairman. 

    "[Ted’s] ability to blend the art and science of retail is exactly what is needed in the next phase of growth for The Home Depot," Menear said in a statement. "I have tremendous confidence that he will guide our company to new heights."

    The pandemic caused The Home Depot’s 2020 sales to surge, with more people spending time at home, and the strong housing market continues to help boost the company’s sales.

    Costco Exec Climbs the Ranks 

    Ron Vachris has been named president and COO of the membership-only big-box retail chain Costco. 

    Vachris has served as COO of merchandising since 2016 and in other leadership roles since his start with the company in 2010. Vachris will also fill a newly created vacancy on the board. 

    Vachis’s promotion positions him as a top candidate to succeed previous president Craig Jelinek, who recently passed the 10-year mark as Costco’s CEO. Kelinek also served as chief of merchandising before becoming CEO. Jelinek will continue to serve as CEO and maintain his spot on the board of directors. 

    “This is not an official announcement of a CEO succession plan, but it implies a plan is taking shape,” Morgan Stanley analyst Simeon Gutman wrote in a research note.

    Recently, Costco came out on top in Qualtrics’ 2022 Experience Index, generated based on a survey of 4,000 U.S. consumers about their experiences with brands across 25 industries. The warehouse chain reported impressive net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2022, which increased 16.7%, to $49.42 billion, up from $42.35 billion for the year-ago period.

    More executives on the move…
    • Andre Maciel is now CFO, Kraft Heinz Co. (Effective March 2)

    • Anish Mathew is now CFO, Gati Ltd.   

    • Chris Suh is now CFO, Electronic Arts (Effective March 1)
    • Christel Heydemann is now CEO, Orange Group
    • Ian Golding is now CIO, Anthesis Group
    • Jesus “Jay” Malave is now CFO, Lockheed Martin
    • John Redmond is now CEO, Allegiant (Effective June)
    • Kathryn McKeon is now CMO, Vital Farms
    • Kelly Solomon is now CMO, Kind Healthy Snacks

    • Mimi Lin is now CMO, Fimi Market Inc.
    • Nash Panchal is now CIO, MarketAxess
    • Richard “Scott” Shively is now President and CEO, Bexion Pharmaceuticals
    • Scott Burger is now CEO, Alex and Ani
    • Shiv Singh is now CMO and Customer Experience Officer, LendingTree
    • Stephanie Garcia is now CHRO, 8x8
    • Stephanie Sherman is now CMO, DraftKings
    • Stephen Scherr is now CEO, Hertz Global
    • Victoria Bonner is now CMO, Sportingtech
    • Vijay is now CEO, Wish

    • Vinay Rawat is now CRO, Cigniti Technologies

    Each executive featured here has an in-depth profile available in the Boardroom Insiders platform. Not a customer? Click here to learn more.

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    Sharon Gillenwater

    About the Author

    Sharon Gillenwater

    Sharon Gillenwater is the founder and editor-in-chief of Boardroom Insiders, which maintains an extensive database of the most in-depth executive profiles on the market, from Fortune 500 companies to independent non-profits, to help sales and marketing professionals build deeper relationships and close more deals with clients. Gillenwater is a long-time marketing consultant with expertise in marketing strategy, account-based marketing, and CXO engagement programs.