Brad Tilden Becomes CEO of Alaska Air Group

Alaska Airlines President Succeeds Bill Ayer, Who Remains as Chairman

May 15, 2012, 08:00 ET from Alaska Air Group

SEATTLE, May 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Alaska Airlines President Brad Tilden becomes chief executive officer of Alaska Air Group and its subsidiary carriers, Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, at the company's annual shareholder meeting today. Tilden, a 21-year veteran at Alaska Air Group, succeeds Bill Ayer, who served as CEO since 2002.

"Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are founded on proud traditions of working hard, doing the right thing and focusing on our customers," Tilden said. "I'm sure there will be many challenges in the years ahead. But given our people and their proven ability to work together and adapt to a constantly changing environment, I could not be more optimistic about our future."

As CEO, Tilden oversees Alaska Airlines, the nation's seventh-largest carrier, and Horizon Air, the largest regional carrier in the Pacific Northwest, which together flew nearly 25 million passengers in 2011. Alaska and Horizon employ nearly 13,000 people and operate 167 aircraft to more than 90 destinations across the continental United States and in Alaska, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico.

"Brad has a proven record of success spanning two decades at Alaska and we've worked side by side to fundamentally transform our company as the industry has evolved in recent years," Ayer said. "I have complete confidence that his leadership style, strong values and seasoned judgment will continue our success."

Tilden, 51, retains his role as president of Alaska Airlines while Ayer remains Air Group's chairman of the board as part of a transition plan announced in February.

"Bill's passion for Air Group over the past 30 years and his skillful leadership have successfully steered us through a time of unprecedented change for all airlines and made an indelible mark on our company," Tilden said. "We're an industry leader in many respects because of Bill's vision, his courage in carrying out our goals and his common sense approach to running the business."

Tilden joined Alaska Airlines from Price Waterhouse in 1991. He was promoted to Air Group's chief financial officer in 2000, to executive vice president–planning and finance in 2007, and to president of Alaska Airlines in 2008. In addition to serving on the Alaska Air Group board, Tilden is a director of Flow International Corp., Pacific Lutheran University and the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America. A private pilot, he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University and an MBA from the University of Washington.

Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. For reservations, visit For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at

SOURCE Alaska Air Group