Howard Putnam

Former Southwest Airlines CEO.


A down-to-earth and entertaining speaker, Howard Putnam’s ultimate object is the “bottom line improvement.” He believes companies that place “people” as their #1 priority have the greatest long-term impact and success.

Previous experience
Howard is the former CEO of the highly successful Southwest Airlines,
whose foundation and culture place people first. Later, recruited to be the CEO of failing Braniff International, he was the first CEO to successfully restructure a major airline into, through, and out of Chapter 11.

Learning to fly on an Iowa farm as a teenager, Howard worked his way over twenty years, from the bag room (loading luggage) to the boardroom of those major airlines. He has earned a well-deserved reputation for his capacity to think systematically, create a vision, build a team, define a niche, and successfully lead and manage through crisis.

He has been an entrepreneur, Chairman of a startup management and investment company, and is the co-founder and Chairman of Aircraft Interior Resources.

Howard is an author, commentator, speaker and advisor on business issues, change, leadership and ethics.
Howard has an MBA in Marketing and attended Harvard’s Advanced Management Program.


Talking Points
Deregulation: Its Dramatic Impact
Ethics & Culture
Leadership Through Turbulence
The Power of Partnering
Transforming Organizations