WestJet has announced that Gregg Saretsky, president and CEO, is retiring from the company, and Ed Sims appointed as his successor.
Having found his successor, Saretskey agreed with the company that his retirement will be effective immediately.
“For the past eight years, it’s been my privilege to lead team WestJet through a tremendous period of growth and success,” said Saretsky. “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.”
Clive Beddoe, WestJet board of directors’ chair, commented, “Gregg has taken WestJet to new heights during his tenure and the airline would not be in the strong position it is without Gregg’s business knowledge, drive and work ethic, and his focus on low costs. On behalf of the board, we sincerely thank Gregg for all of his contributions to WestJet. We wish him well in his retirement.”
Saretsky joined WestJet in June 2009 as vice-president, WestJet Vacations, before assuming the role of executive vice-president, Operations, in October 2009. In March 2010, he assumed the role of president and CEO.
Current executive vice-president, Commercial, Sims, will assume the role of president and CEO immediately. Sims has also been appointed to the board of directors, effective immediately.
“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,” said Sims. “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.”
Sim’s career spans more than 30 years in the tourism and aviation industries, 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 where he led the international wide-body business. Before joining WestJet in May 2017, he was CEO of Airways, New Zealand’s air navigation service provider.