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WN After Kelleher  
User currently offlineEarly Air From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 611 posts, RR: 1
Posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 991 times:

As most of you know, Herb Kelleher is stepping down from most of his positions from southwest. What do you think is going to happen to the airline after he leaves. I dont know exactly what will happen but I can only see bad things in their future.

Rgds,
Early Air

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 959 times:

I think they will continue to do business by the same system, but with many modifications.

User currently offlineILOVEPLANES! From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 957 times:

Do you even know who the vice president of WN is? This person is the one who makes all of WN's "next-airport" decisions. Herb Kheller thinks he is one of the best. Why exactly do u think bad things in the future of WN???????????? Hehe, well i see what you mean but trust me, WN will not have bad things in their future.

User currently offlineEarly Air From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 611 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 950 times:

This is what I can see, I can see the new president changing the way to think of the airline as Kelleher has set. As being a big business but being treated as a small one, and the layed back aptmosphere. This is what kept WN alive, and their business will crash and die if they do not stick to that plan.

Rgds,
Early Air


User currently offlineEarly Air From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 611 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 942 times:

You are probably being sarcastic. But I have read many books about Southwest (my favorite being Nuts) and this is the actuall plan, it sounds funny but it's true.

Rgds,
Early Air


User currently offlinePmk From United States of America, joined May 1999, 664 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 926 times:

I've done a little bit more than just read "NUTS". Kelleher is leaving, frankly, and with all respect to Herb, WHO CARES!!! Colleen Barrett is taking over, SHE is president and also Chief Operating Officer, she makes the calls, has for some time. Trust me SWA will change, but only for the better; Kelleher is not a spring chicken, he is one of the oldest executives in the country and it is time he got to retire.

Peter


User currently offlineAloha 737-200 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 915 times:

Colleen Barrett would be a very excellent heir to Southwest. She has the Southwest spirit.

I, too, have read NUTS!

Aloha 737-200!!  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineTxAgKuwait From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1803 posts, RR: 42
Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 907 times:

Well, you know, a lot of people don;t realize it...the company historians have sort of engaged in revisionist history like the Soviets supposedly did....but there was a Southwest before Kelleher.

Actually, Kelleher is the 3rd president Southwest has had. Most of the innovations and ways of doing business were firmly in place long before he was anything more than the company's lawyer.

So I expect the company will do the same thing it did after Lamar Muse (who truly is the "father of Southwest" in most respects) and Howard Putnam left.

Specifically, they will carry a bunch of folks and make a lot of money.


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 906 times:

TxAgKuwait -

While Herb may not have had an official position within Southwest until it was well established, I don't think there is any doubt about his place as the spiritual force behind the airline, if nothing else. As the single largest equity holder in the fledgling airline, he had his say on policy issues back then too!

Simply put, Southwest would not even EXIST today had Herb not been around. Heck, we'd probably still have the CAB and Frank Lorenzo calling the shots. And I think that qualifies Herb for slightly more adulation than you are giving him.


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 892 times:

B747-437B - here's a thought for you...Way back when...Herb was a lawyer. Granted, he was one of the founders of the airline. He was a smart lawyer, too, and one of the things he did was hire the people (airline people - not lawyers) to run the airline and then LEFT THEM ALONE and let them run it. Herb has stated many, many times that the airline is not successful because of him. It's because of the people. The managment team he hired when SWA started implemented THEIR vision of what SWA was to be. That vision turned out to be an overwhelming success, and Herb knows not to mess with success.

Tex doesn't dislike Herb, he just dislikes much of the history about SWA which portrays Herb as the single driving force from the company's inception. That really isn't the case. Very little credit is given in the book NUTS (a great book BTW) to Lamar Muse. Lamar left SWA and started his own airline (Muse Air) which was giving SWA a run for it's money in Texas and Texas International (later Continental) a run for their money on interstate travel. SWA must have seen something that scared them in Muse Air because thay bought them, running them as a "non-smoking" alternative to SWA called Transtar (back then you could smoke on planes - Muse Air was non-smoking before the government made it mandatory - later on smoking was permitted on Transtar flights).


User currently offlineTxAgKuwait From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1803 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 870 times:

Dear B747-437

GB is right...I don't hate Herb. I got a real nice wedding gift from him about 13 yrs ago.

But the truth is there WOULD be a Southwest without him. The smartest thing he did as Prez/CEO is not to screw up what his predecessors left him.

Southwest was a very profitable and going concern when he finally did get around to taking part in operations....oh, somewehere around '82.

I know all 3 presidents of Southwest. Do you? I was at Love Field the day the first flight took off (18 Jun 71). Were you? Heck, you might not have even been born by that time.

I don't want to denigrate or take anything away from Kelleher. He did a great job and made a lot of employees and investors rich.

But he is not now nor has he ever been God. Frankly, some of us sort of wish that Lamar hadn't gotten into his squabble with the board of directors. You might still be able to get a walk up fare of $39 from Dallas to Houston.

Because for all his virtues, Herb Kelleher wasn't as good at contolling non fuel costs as he could have been. Employees were basically happy, and yeah the company made a lot of money.....but the fares are not what they were in the late 70s/early 80s even adjusting for inflation.



User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 864 times:

GB and Tex - I see your point, but I respectfully beg to differ. No, I wasn't around back in 1971 and maybe most of my information has come from *revisionist* sources, but I still maintain that Herb is, was and will always be "the man" behind Southwest's success.

I will be the first to agree that Lamar Muse does not get even a fraction of the credit he deserves. Not only did he develop a great strategy at Southwest, but he had a pretty good track record at Trans Texas before that. In fact, there are people who credit him with conceptualizing the first cargo hub system when he was up at Universal in Detroit.

Putnam quit Southwest for a number of reasons, not least of all the Braniff job, but also because he did not agree with his Chairman (Herb Kelleher) on some issues. And of course, Herb stepped in to replace him.

However, Air Southwest would never have ever become Southwest Airlines had it not been for Herb Kelleher's drive. They would never have entered the California markets if it wasn't for the slot trading deal that Herb engineered. The Wright Amendment wouldn't even have its little loopholes if it wasn't for Herb. Simply put, Herb is the "father of Southwest" as we know it. Nothing more, nothing less. That is the only point I seek to argue!  Smile


User currently offlineDadoftyler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 859 times:

747--

What "slot trading deal?" None of the airports that Southwest serves in California have, nor have they ever had, slots (even Orange County doesn't have slots in the traditional sense, a la O'Hare or the LaGuardia Aircraft Storage Facility). All the California biggies--LAX, OAK, SAN, even SFO--are constrained only by their ablility to move tin on and off of concrete.

For now, anyway...


User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 851 times:

Dadoftyler - The California airports DID indeed have slot capacities placed on them in the aftermath of the ATC strike in 1981. Southwest used a *subsidiary* company that had been incorporated in Illinois (called "Southwest Midway" I believe) to apply for slot exemptions as a "new entrant", and then turned around and traded those slots to Southwest Airlines, allowing them into those otherwise capacity constrained airports. This was a Herb Kelleher masterpiece all the way.

User currently offlineTxAgKuwait From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1803 posts, RR: 42
Reply 14, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 849 times:

I'll second the "what slot trading deal" comment.

I also beg to differ...if Kelleher had been the Prez/CEO when the California expansion took place...well, you'd probably see PSA still in business and WN would not be the end-all be-all of intrastate California air travel.

Why? You ask....

Well, Herb has a lot of strengths but one of his serious weaknesses, over the years, has been he is afraid to take anyone head on....even when he has the power and the capability of kicking their butt.

Southwest should have been over at DFW a long time ago, making Crandall absolutely miserable. Southwest had bunches of gates at IAH.....but used them only for a few trips a day to Love Field....because he was/is afraid of Lorenzo/Bethune and CO. He doesn't enter fortress hubs....not because his company can't do battle effectively.....well, I really don;t know why he doesn't.

Southwest should have been running hourly service from Midway to MSP a long time ago, and doing it for a walkup fare of 89 bucks or so. (Actually it would have been even better if they could do it at $59...but they can't anymore because of the ASM costs).

There is one minor thing about Herb Kelleher that irritates the heck out of me, though. For whatever reason, he absolutely can not stand for any one else to get the credit for something. He's always been that way too, IMHO. In this month's inflight magazine...they talked about the revolutionary 10 minute turn that Southwest put in to place back in 72. The article said that "an employee" developed that idea. Herb knows who that employee was. Heck, many of the employees know who it was. Why did they not mention that person's name? Because it tends to give somebody besides Herb credit for something. After a while, that sort of attitude gets sickening.

Harlingen celebrated its 25th anniversary of WN service last year. Herb and Colleen were prancing around the Valley for that extravaganza. I am not sure Herb even knew where Harlingen was when Southwest started flying there. Certainly, he was opposed to that....everyone except Muse and a few others wanted Austin...Midland...but certainly not Harlingen. What really takes the cake is the two retirees who opened Harlingen roughly 48 hrs after the Texas Aeronautics Commission gave the final go-ahead...both of whom live in the Dallas area and are readily find-able...were not even invited to the 30th anniversary extravaganza>

Go ahead and read and believe the revisionists if you like. I'm telling you the way it was or is. Take it for what it's worth.

By the way, B747...you overlooked the one thing Lamar Muse did that nobody else in the world could have done. He took Central Airlines...on its deathbed.....with the absolute worst route network of any local service airline (McAlester Oklahoma anyone???? How about Coffeyville, Kansas?) and had them, prior to merging them in to Frontier.....making a profit.


User currently offlineJonPaulGeoRngo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 836 times:

Fascinating TxAg...

You always seem to have some pretty good tales. I seem to recall San Antonio was on the chopping block early on but was saved. Do you have any insight?

I totally agree with your gauging of SW's timidness. SW could do well in places like MSP, PIT and MEM.


User currently offlineDadoftyler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 818 times:

TxAg,

Maybe I'm splitting hairs, but Southwest's real expansion in California--when all of the North/South stuff started--clearly was done when Herb was the Chairman/CEO/Pres. Yes, several California cities were started long ago, but the true intra-California expansion and dominance--which is what I associated with PSA, and which Southwest grew into as the airplanes with smiles went East--clearly happened under Herb's control.

You can, rightly, make the case that it's not so much Herb's direct mandate that led to Southwest becoming PSA reincarnate. The chief guru in Schedule Planning can take credit, rightly, for charting that course even if it had to be approved at the higher level. But let's at least agree to the historical timeline.

As to your other statements.....no comment, but exactly how low WAS your employee number?


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 807 times:

<< but exactly how low WAS your employee number?>>


MAy I Tex? Not quite single digits...but close


User currently offlineTxAgKuwait From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1803 posts, RR: 42
Reply 18, posted (13 years 4 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 804 times:

Dad:

I won't disagree with ya...but I am sitting here looking at the flight schedule that came out about the same time as HK took over the reins. Southwest at that time was in LAX, SAN, SFO.

And my employee number was 3-digit but I have a relative with a 2-digit.

JohnPaulGeorge et al (yes, I know the Beatles...I was watching Ed Sullivan the night they appeared for the 1st time on American TV).....although one could argue JohnPaulGeorgeRngo sounds like it could be a rather eclectic Pope:

Yep, Southwest looked long and hard at abandoning San Antonio.

That's what really precipitated the $13 war.

Southwest had just about got DAL-HOU to breakeven. Average passenger/flight was somewhere around 30. (It took 34 to break even)

San Antonio was averaging 17 per flight.

One thing that surprised everyone was the reception when Southwest started the $10 flight on Friday noght from Hobby and San Antonio back to Dallas Love Field (for the weekend).

It ran full with no advertising....and even at $10 a head a full flight was profitable.

So the decision was made...on the 4 trips a day that were being flown DAL-SAT...to just chop the fare to $13 and see what happened. If loads responded, maybe SAT could be salvaged. If not, we'd cut our losses.

Well, the first week the loads jumped from 17 to like...oh, I seem to recall 51 passengers per flight. And it just keep growing. By the end of the month the SAT flights were making money even at the lower fare.

I hate to keep quoting Lamar, but dammit, he was just so quotable. In discussing fares, he always said "10 percent is not enough, you have to cut the fare in half for it to do any good"


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