The WestJet Group enhances its Board of Directors naming Benjamin Smith and Álex Cruz Vice-Chairs and appointing Lisa Durocher to the Board

CALGARY, AB, Sept. 6, 2023 /CNW/ – The WestJet Group today announced the appointment of Benjamin Smith and Álex Cruz as Vice-Chairs of its Board of Directors and the appointment of Lisa Durocher to its Board of Directors.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce the appointment of Benjamin and Álex as Vice-Chairs of our Board of Directors. Benjamin and Álex are both senior airline industry veterans, with proven track records, who will continue to bring strategic and commercial leadership to the WestJet Group as we work together to deliver value to WestJet Group’s guests, employees and stakeholders,” said Chris Burley, Chairman of the WestJet Group’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Smith is the CEO of Air France-KLM where he has served since 2018. Prior to that, Mr. Smith had a distinguished career for more than two decades at Air Canada, where he held a number of increasingly senior positions most recently as President, Airlines and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Smith has extensive international and domestic aviation experience and a proven track record of success.

Mr. Cruz started his career at American Airlines in Dallas and later founded low-cost airline Clickair. He then merged it with Barcelona-based Vueling and eventually drove its acquisition by International Airlines Group (IAG). In 2016, he became the Chairman and CEO of British Airways where he served until 2021. Mr. Cruz also serves on the board of Recaro, PortAventura World and several travel tech start-ups.

In addition to appointing its new Vice-Chairs, the WestJet Group also appointed Lisa Durocher to the WestJet Group Board of Directors. Ms. Durocher was most recently the Chief Executive Officer of Rogers Bank and Executive Vice-President, Financial Services of Rogers Communications where she oversaw the strategy and scaling of the financial services of the organization. Ms. Durocher joined Rogers in 2016 becoming Chief Digital Officer later that year where she drove the strategy and accelerated transformation of Rogers’ digital program offerings. 

Before joining Rogers, Ms. Durocher spent more than a decade at American Express where she held a variety of senior leadership positions across digital product and technology development, loyalty program management, strategy execution as well as global advertising and marketing. Ms. Durocher holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfred Laurier University and serves on the Board of Fortis Inc.

“We are pleased to welcome Lisa to our Board of Directors at this incredibly exciting time for the WestJet Group,” continued Burley. “Lisa’s impressive 30 years of leadership experience at some of North America’s most successful brands will be an invaluable asset to the WestJet Group as we continue to radically digitalize and rapidly grow our business to serve market demand.”  

For further information on the WestJet Group’s Board of Directors please visit https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/who-we-are/board-of-directors.

About WestJet

In 27 years of serving Canadians, WestJet has cut airfares in half and increased the flying population in Canada to more than 50 per cent. WestJet launched in 1996 with three aircraft, 250 employees and five destinations, growing over the years to more than 180 aircraft, 14,000 employees serving more than 110 destinations in 24 countries.


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