Southwest Airlines Co announced that Kevin Krone, Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer will retire from the carrier, effective Feb. 15, 2016.
Krone began his Southwest career 25 years ago as an intern and rose to become the Company’s second-ever Chief Marketing Officer.
As Southwest’s highest-level Marketing leader, Krone oversaw the Company’s complete breadth of marketing strategies including advertising, digital, distribution, and mobile. He also led Southwest initiatives such as innovation, brand development, as well as management and distribution of products; including Rapid Rewards(R), the award-winning frequent flyer program, and the successful Rapid Rewards(R) Chase/Visa program. Ryan Green, currently Managing Director of Customer Strategy & Development, is being promoted to Vice President of Marketing.
“The list of Kevin’s accomplishments is vast, but most importantly, he’s a great person with a humble and giving spirit, and is a dedicated family man. Kevin is leaving the Southwest brand in great shape thanks to his work. We have a strong visual identity, the Transfarency(TM) advertising campaign beats on, and we are experiencing strong demand for the Southwest brand,” said Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer Bob Jordan. “To this day, Southwest relies on the site he developed, Southwest.com, for ticket distribution that, without Kevin’s vision and leadership, would not have grown to the biggest travel website in the world. He’s a visionary, a pioneer, and a thought leader in the Marketing profession.”
“From day one, nearly 25 years ago, I was hooked on Southwest Airlines,” Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Krone said. “The legends are true. It’s the People that make Southwest great, and it’s the People whom I will miss.”
Krone has more than 20 years’ experience in leading marketing, distribution, and technology strategies in the airline sector. Krone served on the Board of Directors for HomeAway, Inc., the world’s leading online marketplace for vacation rentals prior to their acquisition by Expedia in 2015. He currently serves on the board of UpLift, Inc., an innovative startup at the intersection of marketing and payments located in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Ryan Green has served in a number of marketing leadership positions during his 14-year tenure at Southwest. Positions include Director of Loyalty Marketing and Manager of Product Development. In these previous positions, he launched Rapid Rewards A-List the frequent flyer program’s tiered status level, led the development and launch of the Southwest gift card, helped relaunch the Rapid Rewards program in 2011, and laid the groundwork for numerous inflight experience enhancements. He previously directly managed the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit card program with Chase.