Industry & Services >> CEO Interviews >> November 23, 2009
William S. Ayer is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alaska Airlines and Alaska Air Group, Inc., the parent company of Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier, Horizon Air. At Alaska Airlines, Mr. Ayer, 54, leads the nation's ninth largest airline, with 10,000 employees, 59 destinations and more than 110 aircraft. A 27-year aviation veteran, Mr. Ayer began his career with Alaska in 1995 as Vice President of Marketing and Planning. Since then he has held the posts of Senior Vice President of Customer Service, Marketing and Planning, President and Chief Operating Officer. In 2002 he became the carrier's Chief Executive Officer, and in May 2003 he was appointed Chairman. Prior to his tenure with Alaska, Mr. Ayer spent 13 years at Horizon Air, where he held a variety of marketing and operations positions of increasing responsibility. Immediately prior to joining Alaska, Mr. Ayer was Horizon's Senior Vice President of Operations. Before joining Horizon, Mr. Ayer founded and was President of Air Olympia, a commuter airline serving Washington state. He also served as a regional manager for Piper Aircraft Co. Mr. Ayer is a member of the board of directors of the Seattle branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Puget Energy, the Museum of Flight and Angel Flight West. He also serves on the University of Washington Business School Advisory Board. A graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in economics, Mr. Ayer earned a master's degree in business administration from the University of Washington. He holds commercial and flight instructor pilot certificates with instrument and multi-engine ratings. Profile
TWST: Please start with a brief history of Alaska Air.
Mr. Ayer: The parent company and the publicly traded company is Alaska Air Group (ALK), and we have two principal subsidiaries, Alaska Airlines