WestJet president and chief executive officer (CEO) Gregg Saretsky has announced he is retiring from the Canadian airline with immediate effect.
Current executive vice president for commercial, Ed Sims, will take on the role of president and CEO beginning today. He has also been appointed to the board of directors.
Saretsky joined WestJet in June 2009 as vice president before taking on the position of executive vice president of operations in October 2009 and then the role of president and CEO in March 2010.
He said: “For the past eight years, it’s been my privilege to lead team WestJet through a tremendous period of growth and success. I am pleased with the continued growth and profitability we’ve achieved together.
“With plans well underway for the launch of Swoop and the introduction of the 787-9 Dreamliners on the horizon, as well as the great work WestJetters do each day, I’m confident WestJet will continue to grow to the next chapter and beyond.”
Sim’s career spans more than 30 years encompassing airlines and tour operators, as well as air traffic control. He has worked in the European and Australasian markets, holding senior commercial and general leadership positions with Tui, Thomas Cook, Virgin Groups and Air New Zealand.
He said: “I am honoured by the opportunity to assume the role of President and CEO, and believe strongly in WestJet’s next global chapter and the growth potential ahead. In my time at WestJet, I’ve been inspired by the team’s ability to care from the heart while acting like owners.
“WestJet has a strong challenger’s spirit, and I’m thrilled to be able to lead the team onward. I thank Gregg for his leadership, and for setting the foundation for WestJet’s global evolution.”