The Mission of Southwest Airlines
The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.
To Our Employees
We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines. Above all, Employees will be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer.
§ Herbert (Herb) D. Kelleher: Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the Executive Committee, former CEO and co-founder of Southwest Airlines
§ James (Jim) F. Parker: Vice Chairman of the Board and CEO
§ Colleen C. Barrett: President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Operations
§ Gary C. Kelly: Chief Financial Officer and E.V.P.
§ All employees: The Southwest culture depicts all their employees as the foremost most important aspect of their company.
Southwest Airlines has been a model of admiration for the airline industry and businesses from around the world combined. Southwest Airlines is a rag to riches story that has had to fight for everything it has become. Before Southwest was able to take on its first passengers, they had to fight competitors in the court system for nearly three and a half years.
In 1966, Fortune Magazine states, “A San Antonio lawyer, Herb Kelleher, founded Southwest with one of his clients (now a Board member) over drinks at a local bar” (62). Southwest was started in a bar on a cocktail napkin. Fortune Magazine quoted Mr. Kelleher, “it was at the St. Anthony’s Club in San Antonio, Texas that Rollin King came to me with the idea of starting a low-fare airline in Texas” (64).
Southwest did not make its maiden voyage until 1971 – From a napkin to the airways with their runway in the Court system. When Texas Aeronautics Commission authorized Southwest to fly, their competitors grounded them within the Court system with continuous litigation for three and a half years. The litigation went as high as the Supreme Court.
Finally, on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines took off, with President Lamar Muse, offering flights to Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. The dream...
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...ve Magazine recognized Southwest as one of the “Top 20 Companies for Leaders” in June 2002.
§ Year after year Southwest ranks in the top for the best customer service, on-time flights, and fewest complaints on lost or damaged luggage.
“America’s 500 Top Companies.” Forbes 14 April 2003: 185-204
Brooker, Katrina. “The Chairman of the Board Looks Back as Herb Kelleher Hands
Over the Controls, He Tells Fortune’s Katrina Brooker What it Took to Make
Southwest Airlines a Great – If Wacky – Company. How Did He Do It?”
Fortune 28 May 2001: 62-85
DeLenzo, David A. and Robbins, Stephen P. “Fundamentals of Management.” New
Jersey: Prentice Hall
Edwards, Bob. “Success of Southwest Airlines.” Morning Edition (NPR); Radio
4 December 2002: 1-4
Huey, John. “Outlaw Flyboy CEO’s, Two Texas Mavericks Rant About the Wreckage of
the U.S. Aviation Industry.” Fortune 13 November 2000: 237-52
Southwest Airlines. History and Fact Sheet. www.southwest.com 13 May 2003
Southwest Airlines Co. www.hoovers.com
“Southwest Airlines Honored for Customer Satisfaction.” Business Wire
6 December 2001: 1-3
Stein, Nicholas. “America’s Most Admired Companies.” Fortune 3 March 2003: 81-93
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