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Southwest Airlines makes executive changes

1 July 2014

Jack Smith, currently Southwest Airlines´ vice president of ground operations, is being promoted to senior vice president of operations, overseeing technical operations, ground operations, and cargo and charters.

Smith is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, joining Southwest from AirTran Airways, where he served as senior vice president of customer service. His aviation career includes leadership roles in ground operations, inflight, cargo, reservations, and customer relations.

Steve Goldberg, currently managing director of ground operations, is being promoted to vice president of ground operations. Steve joined Southwest in 1996 and has served as managing director since 2013. Steve will oversee airport operations at Southwest´s 93 airports, including responsibility for 15,000 ground operations employees.

Jim Sokol, the company´s longtime vice president of maintenance operations, has announced his decision to retire, effective Sept. 15, 2014.

Landon Nitschke will step into the vice president of maintenance operations role opening as a result of Sokol´s retirement. Landon currently serves as senior director of maintenance.

In its 44th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) is the nation´s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. Its website is at


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