Southwest airlines first turned a profit in 1973, and since then Southwest have ended every year profitable (Brooker). This is an amazing accomplishment; even more amazing is that it is in the airline industry. No other airlines have even been close to achieving this. What is southwest’s secret formula for success? None other than the CEO and chairman Herb Kelleher. As some would say the best way to describe Herb is “one of a kind.” He is a transformational leader with charisma and determination to spare. Helping to fuel him in his conquest is his drive for human interaction as well love for bourbon and cigarettes.
Herb stepped down as CEO in the early 2000s. This was after bringing the company from having 27 planes and $270 million in revenues in his first year as CEO in 1982 to $5.7 billion business (Brooker). Today Southwest is considered a top airline for customer service, value, consistency and reliability. Plus they have a great TV ad campaign.