Posted on: 12 May 2014 by Mark Howells
SkyWest, Inc., the parent holding company of SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines, has announced the promotion of Russell “Chip” Childs to president, moving from his previous role as president and chief operating officer of SkyWest Airlines.
In his new role at SkyWest, Inc., Childs will oversee all activities of the holding company, as well as those of the operating airlines. Jerry Atkin remains chairman and chief executive officer of SkyWest, Inc.
“Chip brings an exceptional balance of operational experience, financial discipline and strong leadership to the role,” said Atkin. “As we redefine key leadership roles at the company to encourage top operational performance, improved contract efficiency and profitability, Chip’s extensive operational and financial background will be critical to moving SkyWest, Inc. forward, and to maintaining its leadership in a challenging and dynamic environment.”
“In a highly commoditised industry, SkyWest has achieved remarkable success with a commitment to strong vision, values and people,” Childs noted. “I look forward to strengthening that legacy, and improving the company’s profitability and sustainability to provide value to all of our stakeholders.”
Childs has served as president and COO of SkyWest Airlines since 2007, executing the development of new partnerships, establishing solid financial performance, providing ongoing operational reliability and quality, and working with the airline’s more than 10,000 employees to position the airline for leadership and success.
As part of the change in leadership, Bradford Rich will become chief commercial officer of SkyWest, Inc., allowing him to focus his efforts on contract development, management and development of business opportunities with network airlines, and fleet management, financing and purchasing.
The SkyWest, Inc. board of directors believes the newly-created role will be essential to achieving improved profitability and capitalising on current and new opportunities within the industry for the company.
Wade Steel, currently vice-president–controller of SkyWest Airlines since 2011, has been promoted to serve as executive vice-president of SkyWest, Inc. In this position, he will oversee all contract management and financial planning and analysis for the holding company. Steel joined the airline’s leadership team in 2007 and has spent seven years in public accounting, providing audit and advisory services to companies in the transportation, manufacturing, software and financial services industries.
With Childs’ move up to SkyWest, Inc., Michael Thompson, currently vice-president of market development for SkyWest Airlines, has been promoted to chief operating officer of SkyWest Airlines, with responsibility for oversight of the airline’s operations.
Brad Holt will remain president and chief operating officer of ExpressJet Airlines, reporting to Childs. Eric Woodward will remain chief accounting officer for SkyWest, Inc., and Mike Kraupp will serve as vice-president and treasurer of SkyWest, Inc.