Symbolism Of Herb Kelleher

1424 Words 6 Pages
A Symbol of Freedom

According to Herb Kelleher “If you put your employees first and you take care of them, they will take good care of customers. Then, the customers will come back, and your shareholders will like that” (“Southwest”). Herb Kelleher has created a company that has been named among the five Most Admired Corporations in America (“Herbert”). Herb Kelleher is an American born entrepreneur, who created an extraordinary low cost airline with his bold innovations and many others have followed his leadership.
On March 12, 1931, Herb Kelleher was born in Camden, New Jersey. His father was the general manager of Campbell’s Soup Factory (“Herb”). His mother instilled in him to have a fun and loving attitude (“CNBC”). He attended Wesleyan
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Kelleher was the former president and CEO of Southwest Airlines from September 1981 through June 2001 (“Herbert”). Gary Kelly became the CEO of the airline when Mr. Kelleher stepped down (“Southwest”). For thirteen years, Fortune Magazine named Southwest in the top ten Most Admired Corporations. Mr. Kelleher received many awards for his leadership at Southwest (“Herbert”).
People who invested 10,000 dollars in Southwest in 1972 now find their investment worth 10.2 million dollars. This is an average of 25.99% growth per year (“Herbert”). Southwest has been profitable for thirty-eight consecutive years. Southwest is the only airline in America that can boast about that fact. When the tragedy of 9/11 occurred, many other airlines laid off employees. Southwest was the only airline that did not have any lay offs. In fact, the airline has never laid off any employees in the history of the company (“CNBC”).
When Southwest Airlines started in 1968, less than fifty percent of Americans had flown in a plane. Today, Southwest has made air travel more affordable. Now more than eighty-five percent of Americans have flown. Mr. Kelleher was once asked what his greatest achievement was, and he replied, “Freedom.” He defined this “Freedom” to be that more Americans were now able to fly. Southwest Airlines once used “Symbol of Freedom” as its slogan

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