Canadian Manufacturing

WestJet names Harry Taylor as interim president and CEO

Current CEO Ed Sims announced his retirement on June 9, 2021.

September 15, 2021  by CM Staff

Harry Taylor. Photo Credit: CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

The WestJet Group has announced that Harry Taylor will assume the interim role of president and CEO with a transition period taking place between late November and mid-December 2021.

Current CEO Ed Sims announced his retirement on June 9, 2021.

“I am extremely pleased Harry has agreed to take on this interim role,” WestJet Group board chair Chris Burley said in a news release. “Our global search for a permanent CEO continues, and on behalf of WestJet and the board, we are grateful Harry has stepped up to help us through this critical transition. Harry has been an integral part of our pandemic planning and recovery, and it is his painstaking attention to our finances and his unique perspective that helped us through. As we continue to navigate our way through the remainder of the pandemic, Harry’s experience in the industry, combined with his deep appreciation and understanding of the WestJet culture will be a tremendous asset as we work to rebuild our airline and deliver on the five-year plan for our people and our guests.”

Taylor joined the Calgary-based airline in 2015 as executive vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). During this time, WestJet officials said, he led the company’s inaugural U.S. bond issue, negotiated the purchase of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Boeing MAX aircraft, and was instrumental in the sale of WestJet to Onex. “Through the pandemic, [Taylor]led the finance team in managing WestJet’s liquidity to ensure sustainability with little to no revenue coming in,” they said.

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While Taylor serves as interim CEO, Jennifer Bue, WestJet’s current vice president, finance planning and analysis, will serve as interim CFO.


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