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Former Southwest Airlines CEO Howard Putnam to speak at Athena

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Howard Putnam

Athena San Diego is hosting former Southwest Airlines CEO Howard Putnam and Susan Taylor, former news anchor on KNBC 7/39 and current executive director of external affairs for Scripps Health, on Feb. 13 to discuss personal experiences navigating successful career changes as well as how lessons learned, failures and regrets played a pivotal role in where they are today as business leaders.

Putnam is considered a trailblazer of change leadership and transformation. Shortly after being recruited as CEO of Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) in 1978, he led the visioning process and developed the "fun" culture and excellent customer service for which the airline is still known today. Because of his leadership, Southwest has been profitable every year for the past 37 years, a record unsurpassed by any airline. In 1981, Putnam was recruited by the board of Braniff International to become the first airline CEO to successfully take a major carrier into, through and out of Chapter 11. He has been an entrepreneur and has served as director of several startup technology companies.

Taylor recently left her NBC news anchor job to become executive director of external affairs for Scripps Health. She did not make this decision alone, but rather embraced the invaluable mentoring she received from Putnam.

Athena San Diego hosts these two leaders on Feb. 13, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Qualcomm, 5775 Morehouse Drive, 92121. For more information, visit athenasd.org or call 858-481-0710. Cost is $50.

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