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Dallas Morning News: Colleen Barrett scaling back to just 'Mom' at SWA

Frequent Flyer B
By TERRY MAXON / The Dallas Morning News

The mom of Southwest Airlines Co. is about to become mom emeritus.

To call Colleen Barrett "Mom" might seem demeaning, considering that she has been the highest-ranking woman in the airline industry for years, even before she was named president of Dallas-based Southwest in 2001.

But Ms. Barrett, who steps down from her president's job at midnight today, knows what the label means.

"I'm OK with Mom," Ms. Barrett said last week. "I'm OK with Grandma. That's what I said at the shareholders' meeting [May 21]. It's time for me to take the next step with grandmotherhood."

Like her longtime boss, Herb Kelleher, who gave up his chairman's job in May, Ms. Barrett is leaving her executive's job but staying with the airline for at least five years, with duties to be defined by chief executive Gary Kelly.


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