Boy, if every CEO got fired for a failed IT project, we’d have a 100% turnover rate for CEOs.
Jordan said the outage was the worst he could recall in his 28 years at Southwest, the nation’s fourth-biggest airline. It has become a rallying point for unions who believe they deserve raises while Southwest Airlines Co. earns record profits.
The pilots’ union said that its board voted 20-0 to ask that Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly and Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven be removed. Union President Jon Weaks said the company had focused too much on controlling costs and buying back its own shares and not enough to upgrade “critically outdated IT infrastructure and flight operations.”
The leader of the mechanics’ union, Louie Key, said the outage was the “final straw” on top of unsettled contract negotiations and other disappointments.
Southwest’s senior vice president of labor relations, Randy Babbitt, said union demands were just part of the contract-bargaining process.
“Their maneuvering is not about our leaders. It’s not about ‘IT infrastructure,’” Babbitt said in a statement released by the company. “This is about the union’s approach to contract discussions and its attempt to gain leverage in negotiations.”