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Southwest Airlines announces nomination of Lisa Atherton to join its Board of Directors

Lisa Atherton
Lisa Atherton

Before her career with Textron, Atherton spent eight years as Air Combat Command’s Directorate of Requirements, helping to shape the budget and operational requirements and needs for the Combat Air Forces and was a contracting officer in the U.S. Air Force.

DALLAS – The Board of Directors of Southwest Airlines Co. has named Lisa Atherton as a candidate to join the Board. Atherton, along with other Board nominees, will be on the ballot at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders on May 15, 2024.

Atherton is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bell, a Textron Inc. company, and a member of Textron’s Executive Leadership Team. She oversees a multibillion-dollar business that provides innovative products for defense and commercial customers across the globe.

Prior to assuming her role as President and Chief Executive Officer, Atherton served as the Chief Operating Officer of Bell. In 2017, she was named the President and Chief Executive Officer of Textron Systems, providing innovative solutions to the defense, aerospace, and general aviation markets.

“Lisa’s broad range of Leadership experience, along with her service to our country in the Air Force, will be a tremendous benefit to our Board,” said Gary Kelly, Executive Chairman of the Board for Southwest Airlines. “Her vast knowledge of aviation, government requirements, regulations, and budgeting, combined with her expertise leading highly complex programs and strategic initiatives, will be valuable as we continue to add diversity of thought and experience to our talented Board. We’re looking forward to working with her.”

During her time at Bell, she has served the role of executive vice president, Military Business and vice president, Global Military Development. She also held several positions within Bell’s Military Programs division, including V-22 program manager and director of Military Programs. Prior to joining Bell, Atherton was the vice president of Area Attack at Textron Systems, where she also served as the vice president of Business Development.

Atherton earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Mason School of Business at The College of William and Mary and a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from the U.S. Air Force Academy. She is a Presidential Leadership Scholar and also has completed Textron’s Senior Executive Leadership Programs at the Thunderbird School of Global Management, as well as Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

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