WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims will retire at the end of 2021, the company announced Wednesday.
“My time with WestJet has been an absolute career highlight and a privilege in my 35 years in the travel and aviation industries,” said Sims in a statement.
“The global pandemic and the ongoing travel restrictions have separated so many of us for so long from loved ones. With two children in New Zealand, I am prioritizing the needs of family who I will not have seen in two years.”
During this tenure, Sims oversaw the introduction of the Boeing 787 long-haul aircraft, the launch of two new airline ventures, the expansion of WestJet’s international network, as well as the continued growth of WestJet Vacations, WestJet Cargo and the WestJet Rewards program.
Sims will remain as president and CEO, as well as being a member of the WestJet Group board of directors, until December 2021. He will also continue in a senior advisory role with Onex Partners focused on aerospace and aviation.
“I want to thank Ed for his contributions to WestJet’s strategy and growth initiatives over the past four years,” said Chris Burley, chairman of WestJet’s board of directors.
“Ed has led WestJet through the worst crisis in aviation history and will see us through to the end of 2021. We owe our relative strength and stability in no small measure to Ed’s leadership and steady hand. On a personal note, we’re pleased that Ed will be able to rejoin his family in New Zealand at the end of the year.”
The search for a replacement is now underway.
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