Gary Kelly, who has served as Southwest’s executive vice president and chief financial officer since 2001, will succeed Parker as vice chairman of the board and CEO. Kelly joined Southwest as its controller in 1986 and became vice president of finance and CFO in 1989.
In a statement, chairman Herb Kelleher said, “Gary Kelly is one of our brightest stars, well respected throughout the industry and well known, over more than a decade, to the media, analyst, and investor communities for his excellence. As part of our Board’s succession planning, we had already focused on Gary as Jim Parker’s successor, and that process has simply been accelerated by Jim’s personal decision to retire. Under Gary’s leadership, Southwest has achieved the strongest balance sheet in the American airline industry; the best fuel hedging position in our industry; and tremendous progress in technology.”
Laura Wright, currently vice president of finance and treasurer, will succeed Kelly as CFO. She joined Southwest in 1988; since 1998 has been primarily responsible for Southwest’s overall corporate finance strategy, its capital market and aircraft financing activities, new and used aircraft acquisitions, corporate tax and insurance programs, cash management and investing functions, and stock option programs.
Carter most recently served as vice president, finance, with Cummins Inc. She had also previously served in senior financial management positions at Honeywell (formerly AlliedSignal), Crane Co., and DeKalb Corp.
RadioShack announced that senior vice president and corporate controller David Johnson will serve as interim CFO while the company searches for a permanent replacement. “We regret Mike’s decision to leave RadioShack, as he has been an extremely valuable asset to our management team,” said Leonard Roberts, chairman and chief executive officer of RadioShack, in a statement.