Southwest Airlines Employees are very familiar with the term "moving cheese," and it relates to changes and adapting to those changes. Well, by now you probably know that my life will be changing significantly over the next year or so as I give up my Membership on Southwest's Board of Directors and my Corporate Secretary role in May of 2008 and my title as President next July. I've always felt that change and new challenges are vital to our growth as humans
Rest assured, even though I am giving up my Board Membership and my management position, I won't be going very far because I will still be part of this fantastic Company for five more years after July 2008. Many of you know that, for 40 years, my absolute passion and the thing that gets me out of bed every morning is Customer Service. Keep in mind that, at Southwest Airlines, everyone is in the Customer Service business, whether they be serving our External Customers (our passengers) or our Internal Customers (our Employees), so when I say "Customer Service" I really mean all of you, whether you are an Employee, a Customer, or just a reader of this blog.
I am so excited that I will be able to devote my attention to this passion. In our press release, I said that my duties at Southwest have been a labor of love, but being in labor for 40 years is a bit hard on the body. My avocation will truly be my vocation, and I am looking forward to having more personal contact with our Employees, something I have missed due to the demands of my position. I am also looking forward to a five-day work week after years of working 16 hour days, seven days a week. I'm even looking forward to being a bigger part of this blog in the future.
Herb Kelleher and I are simply taking a step back from our responsibilities, and we can do this because of the vision and Leadership of Gary Kelly, our CEO, and the Team he has built. Herb and I will still be around on a daily basis for six more years, so you aren't getting rid of us, and as Herb said, "this is neither a good bye nor a farewell"--we're just moving some cheese!