Former CEO of Southwest Airlines
Howard Putnam is the former CEO of Southwest and Braniff Airlines and Group VP Marketing for United Airlines. Howard is a business and motivational speaker, author, consultant, commentator, and online mentor on: Leadership, Customer Service, Change, Transformation and Ethics. Howard Putnam was raised on an Iowa farm and learned to fly out of a pasture…
Howard Putnam is the former CEO of Southwest and Braniff Airlines and Group VP Marketing for United Airlines. Howard is a business and motivational speaker, author, consultant, commentator, and online mentor on: Leadership, Customer Service, Change, Transformation and Ethics.
Howard Putnam was raised on an Iowa farm and learned to fly out of a pasture in his Father’s J-3 Piper Cub. He entered the airline business as a baggage handler at Midway Airport in Chicago for Capital Airlines at age 17. Capital was soon merged into United and Howard held thirteen different positions in sales, services and staff assignments in several cities, before being named Group Vice President of Marketing for United Airlines, the world’s largest airline, in 1976.
In 1978 he was recruited to become President and CEO of fledgling Southwest Airlines in Dallas, TX. While at Southwest Howard and his team tripled the revenues and tripled profitability in three years. They also successfully guided Southwest through airline deregulation and Southwest was the first air carrier to order the Boeing 737-300, which later became the largest selling aircraft ever for Boeing.
Howard led the visioning process at Southwest as well as further developing the “fun” culture and excellent customer service that Southwest is still known for today. Southwest has been profitable every year for over thirty years, a record unsurpassed by any other airline.
In 1981, Howard was recruited by the board of directors of Braniff International to come aboard as CEO and save and/or restructure the financially failing airline. He was the first airline CEO to successfully take a major carrier into, through and out of chapter 11. Braniff flew again in 1984.
He is the author of “The Winds of Turbulence” on leadership and ethics. Harvard University wrote a case study on his experiences at Braniff, “The Ethics of Bankruptcy” as a model as to how to handle stakeholders in crisis.
He has also been an entrepreneur, serving as Chairman of a startup investment company and two small manufacturing and distribution companies.
Howard and Krista have two children, Michael, a commercial airline captain and Sue, in public relations and marketing.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Leadership: Successful Strategies Through Turbulent Times
Leaders must have a clear and concise vision if they want their organizations to survive and thrive through turbulence. They must have a clear understanding of what kind of business or businesses they are involved with, and only then can they develop a business culture to support their vision and business. Bottom-line improvement comes through your people. Speaker Howard Putnam has successfully led organizations through the maze of turbulence following these principles of leadership and will share them with you.
Innovation: Creating a Culture & Process for Ideas to Emerge
Innovation and bold steps occur in organizations that embrace and foster a climate and culture that value risk-taking and implementing ideas. Speaker Howard Putnam proved this philosophy works when he was CEO of Southwest Airlines. He positioned and organized Southwest for growth and profitability utilizing a very flat-management structure with decision-making and idea development embedded in everyone’s job scope and responsibility. Individuals and teams were rewarded for risk-taking and for designing out-of-the-box processes and improvements in productivity, customer service, cost containment, safety, and profitability. Brands develop when people thrive in the vision and experience. In this presentation, Putnam will describe how this can work in your organization.
Change: Transforming Organizations Successfully & Profitably
Many organizations are out of alignment in the current turbulent environment. Their design is outdated due to bureaucracy and a hierarchy that is expensive and inefficient. Speaker Howard Putnam will show you how to transform your business into a “flow state” organization that is focused, nimble, flexible, cost effective, and able to utilize the “stages of turbulence.”
People & Culture: Hiring Attitudes & Developing Their Skills
Successful organizations on the long term place their people first if they want sustained bottom-line improvement. Speaker Howard Putnam envisioned Southwest Airlines as a company whose key element was its culture and thus matched attitudes with culture. Happy employees and superior customer service resulted from this concept. He will share behind-the-scenes looks on how this was accomplished with great stories, humor, and concrete suggestions.
The Ultimate Challenge in Ethics: Are You Really the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are?
Organizations cannot ignore the need for proactive efforts to ingrain honesty, integrity, and trust at every level. Today’s environment requires ethical leaders if they want their businesses to survive and grow. Speaker Howard Putnam learned the values of trust and honesty growing up on an Iowa farm. He has embodied those principles in his successful business career. He took on the challenge of saving Braniff International only to find the “books had been cooked” prior to his arrival. He will share this character-building experience of taking a major airline through Chapter 11 successfully and offer a flight plan for you to implement in your organization.
Innovation: Creating a Culture & Process for Ideas to Emerge
Howard Putnam Presentation ABI Conference 2013
Howard Putnam Speaker - PDA Speakers
1 HOUR OR LESS