SkyWest announces new president, company wide leadership changes

Russell "Chip" Childs

ST. GEORGE – SkyWest Inc., the holding company for SkyWest Airlines Inc. and ExpressJet Airlines Inc., announced the promotion of Russell “Chip” Childs to president effective Monday.

Childs has been serving as president and chief operating officer of SkyWest Airlines. In his new role at SkyWest Inc., he will oversee all activities of the holding company, as well as those of the operating airlines, with a focus on improved profitability, quality and value for all SkyWest Inc. stakeholders. Jerry C. Atkin will remain chairman and chief executive officer of SkyWest Inc.

Atkin said: “Chip brings an exceptional balance of operational experience, financial discipline and strong leadership to the role. As we redefine key leadership roles at the company to encourage top operational performance, improved contract efficiency and profitability, Chip’s extensive operational and financial background will be critical to moving SkyWest Inc. forward, and to maintaining its leadership in a challenging and dynamic environment.”

Childs said: “In a highly commoditized industry, SkyWest has achieved remarkable success with a commitment to strong vision, values and people. I look forward to strengthening that legacy, and improving the company’s profitability and sustainability to provide value to all of our stakeholders.”

Childs has served as president and chief operating officer of SkyWest Airlines since 2007, executing the development of new partnerships, establishing solid financial performance, providing ongoing operational reliability and quality, and working with the airline’s more than 10,000 employees to position the airline for leadership and success. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University.

As part of the change in leadership, Bradford R. Rich will become chief commercial officer of SkyWest Inc., allowing him to focus his efforts on contract development, management and development of business opportunities with network airlines, and fleet management, financing and purchasing.

The Board of Directors of SkyWest Inc. believes, according to its press release Monday, the newly-created role will be essential to achieving improved profitability and capitalizing on current and new opportunities within the industry for SkyWest Inc.

Wade Steel, who has served as vice president and controller of SkyWest Airlines since 2011, has been promoted to serve as executive vice president of SkyWest Inc., also effective Monday. In this position, Steel will oversee all contract management and financial planning and analysis for the holding company. He has served as part of the airline’s leadership team since 2007 and spent seven years in public accounting, providing audit and advisory services to companies in the transportation, manufacturing, software and financial services industries. Steel is a certified public accountant with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from BYU and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

As Childs takes the helm at SkyWest Inc., Michael Thompson, who has served as vice president of market development for SkyWest Airlines since 2007, has been promoted to chief operating officer of SkyWest Airlines, also effective Monday, with responsibility for oversight of the airline’s operations. In his capacity as vice president of market development, Childs has managed the airline’s pro-rate operations and helped the airline’s efforts to adapt to rapidly-changing network needs across the industry. He holds master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration and a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering, all from BYU.

Brad Holt will remain president and chief operating officer of ExpressJet Airlines, reporting to Childs. Eric Woodward will remain chief accounting officer for SkyWest Inc., and Mike Kraupp will serve as vice president and treasurer of SkyWest Inc.

About SkyWest Inc.

SkyWest Inc. was named Air Transport World’s Regional Airline of the Year in 2014. It is the holding company for two scheduled passenger airline operations and an aircraft leasing company and is headquartered in St. George. SkyWest’s airline companies provide commercial air service in cities across the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean with approximately 4,000 daily flights and a fleet of 755 aircraft. SkyWest Airlines operates through partnerships with United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, US Airways, American Airlines and Alaska Airlines. ExpressJet Airlines operates through partnerships with United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines. SkyWest continues to set the standard for excellence in the regional industry with unmatched value for customers, shareholders and its nearly 20,000 employees.

Forward Looking Statements

In addition to historical information, this release contains forward-looking statements. SkyWest may, from time to time, make written or oral forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Among other things, this Skywest’s release is based on information available to SkyWest as of Monday. Readers should note that many factors could affect the future operating and financial results of SkyWest, SkyWest Airlines and ExpressJet Airlines, and could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements set forth in this release.


Skywest Inc. |  NASDAQ:SKYW

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  • Corky May 13, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Most of the excitement about the new airport was generated because we were led to believe that several commercial economy airlines would be using and giving us access to direct flights to and from St. George. It seems Sky West has the market cornered. Is this a case of the “good old hometown boys” monopoly? Senior Games people would love to fly direct to St. George. Many would love not having to go to Las Vegas. Is there hope that our dreams of an international airport will come to fruition?

    • Jacer May 14, 2014 at 7:28 am

      The airport needs to sell itself on being a good investment for other Airlines to want to spend the money to make St. George a destination. There is not an economical reason for other Airlines to invest here as of yet. I will even bet that Skywest loses money flying in and out of here. St George has done everything in its power to keep it a small community. You need growth in huge numbers for the convenience that you seek at the airport. You can’t have both. Would you rather be inconvenienced with the limited amount of airline travel. Or inconvenienced by all the negative things that come with growth of population. I hope to never become big enough to have the convenience of travel that Las Vegas has. Because I like that this city is manageable .

      • Joanna May 14, 2014 at 8:56 am

        Interesting thoughts, Jacer! I also like the size of this community and would hate to see it get bigger and become subject to “big city problems”, but on the flip side have also wished that we had a bigger airport with more destinations. But you’re so right in that you can’t have both. So I’m conflicted – I guess I want to have my cake and eat it too. 🙂

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