Alaska Airlines announced the promotion of four highly experienced leaders who will emphasize the importance of providing remarkable guest experiences and creating continued future growth for the company.
Effective immediately, Sangita Woerner has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing and guest experience; Charu Jain has been promoted to a new role as senior vice president of merchandising and innovation; and Vikram Baskaran will succeed Jain as the vice president of information technology services. Additionally, Kyle Levine has been promoted to senior vice president of legal and general counsel.
Woerner's elevated role provides an opportunity to continue broadening her focus on ensuring excellence in the end-to-end guest experience, and to continue growing the Alaska brand and loyalty as the company grows. She joined Alaska in 2015 and led the company's 2016 brand relaunch, the onboard product and service redefinition through the integration with Virgin America, and creating new uniforms in partnership with frontline teams.
"During Sangita's five years with us, she has built a strong marketing organization and led Alaska's move to a single brand with the acquisition of Virgin America, including the consolidation of two loyalty programs and upgrading our onboard product for a modern West Coast vibe and fresh local flavor," said Andrew Harrison, executive vice president and chief commercial officer. "She's a leader who has insatiable drive to take care of our guests and build a powerful brand."
In her new role as senior vice president of merchandising and innovation, Jain will work closely with the commercial business, operating divisions and technology teams to implement solutions enabling the company to continue to deliver an excellent experience for guests and employees. She has more than 25 years of experience as a senior technology executive. She joined Alaska in 2017 as vice president of information technology services and chief information officer.
"Charu will drive and advance our legacy of innovation," said Harrison. "She's a proven technology leader who integrated hundreds of systems through the acquisition of Virgin America. Her responsibilities include driving both employee and guest-facing innovation along with taking Alaska to the next level with merchandising our products and services, and managing our ever-evolving distribution channels."
Baskaran takes the helm of information technology services as vice president. Along with Jain, he led the IT team through the complexities of integration with Virgin America with near flawless execution. Vikram leads a world-class IT operation that's at the foundation of Alaska consistently receiving high rankings in airline customer satisfaction. He joined the company in 2013 as a managing director of technology.
"Vikram's in-depth knowledge of our technology environment and his proven commitment to delivering great technology to our employees and guests make him perfectly suited for this role," said Brandon Pedersen, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "I'm confident that Vikram will be an exceptional leader for our IT organization."
As the senior vice president of legal and general counsel, chief ethics and compliance officer and corporate secretary, Levine heads Alaska Air Group's team of legal, governance and compliance professionals; supports board of directors' activities and shareholder services; and sits on the company's executive committee. He joined the company in 2006.
"Kyle has served Alaska extremely well as general counsel over the years," said Brad Tilden, chairman and CEO of Alaska Air Group. "In addition to critical counsel through our merger with Virgin America, he has built out a strong legal team, strengthened our ethics and compliance program, and served as a company-wide champion for diversity and inclusion. He has earned this promotion and we're all glad to see it happening."