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Alaska Airlines Executive Leadership

Updated August 2014

Brad Tilden - Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Brandon Pedersen - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, Finance
Ben Minicucci - Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Operations
Veresh Sita - Chief Information Officer and Vice President

Brad Tilden

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Alaska Air Group

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Brad TildenBrad Tilden is the chief executive officer of Alaska Air Group and its two subsidiaries, Alaska Airlines, the nation’s sixth-largest carrier, and Horizon Air, its regional affiliate.  The two airlines employ nearly 13,000 people and fly more than 180 aircraft to some 100 destinations throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Alaska was recently added to the Fortune 500.

Under the leadership of Tilden and his team, Air Group’s focus is on offering industry-leading customer service with low fares, steadily growing its route network, making Alaska and Horizon the easiest airlines to fly, and building a sense of teamwork and alignment among its people.  Alaska’s people have been recognized for seven consecutive years by J.D. Power, ranked No. 1 in on-time performance for four consecutive years by FlightStats.com, and received other honors for their philanthropy, community service and environmental stewardship.  In 2013, the International Council on Clean Transportation ranked Alaska as the most fuel-efficient airline in the United States.  All of these efforts have led Air Group to become one of the nation’s most profitable airline companies.

Tilden previously served as president, executive vice president of finance and planning, chief financial officer, and corporate controller of Alaska Air Group or Alaska Airlines.  Before joining the company in 1991, he spent eight years with the accounting firm Price Waterhouse in its offices in Seattle and Melbourne, Australia.

Tilden earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University and an executive master’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington.  He also holds a private pilot’s license with an instrument rating.

Tilden serves on the boards of Pacific Lutheran University and the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and was a director at Flow International Corp. until its sale in January 2014.

Introduced to aviation early in life, Tilden grew up a few miles from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where he loved to watch Alaska jets take off and land.  A resident of Seattle, he is married and has three daughters.  In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys cycling and flying his Cessna 182.

Brandon Pedersen

Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, Finance

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Brandon PedersenBrandon Pedersen is responsible for the finance and strategic planning organizations at Alaska Air Group.

Pedersen previously served as vice president of finance and controller for Alaska Air Group, with responsibility for accounting, payroll, tax, financial reporting and investor relations.

He came to Alaska Airlines in 2003 as staff vice president from the Seattle office of KPMG, one of the nation's largest public accounting firms. He was a partner at KPMG, as well as at the Seattle office of Arthur Andersen. Pedersen began his professional career with Andersen as a staff accountant. During a 12-year period there, he rose to partner and handled a diverse range of clients and projects.

Pedersen is a graduate of the University of Washington, with bachelor's degrees in business administration and economics. He is a certified public accountant and a member of the Accounting Advisory Board of the University of Washington. He also serves on the board of the American Red Cross of King and Kitsap Counties.

Ben Minicucci

Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Operations Alaska Airlines

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Ben MinicucciBen Minicucci is responsible for Flight Operations, System Operations Control, Maintenance & Engineering and Customer Service – Airports.

Previously, he served as the airline's vice president of Seattle operations, leading the Customer Service – Airports Division's vendor oversight program, as well as staff planning, training, policies and procedures. Before that, Minicucci was staff vice president of maintenance and engineering.

Minicucci came to Alaska Airlines from Air Canada, following 14 years with the Canadian Armed Forces, where he managed all aspects of military aircraft maintenance and participated in several key deployments, including the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

Minicucci's first job with Air Canada involved coaching management teams on progressive leadership styles. He was later promoted to vice president of heavy maintenance and base manager of operations in Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver, Canada.

He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada.

Veresh Sita

Chief Information Officer and Vice President

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Veresh SitaVeresh Sita is responsible for information technology at Alaska Airlines. As CIO, Sita is responsible for 300 information technology professionals, as well as infrastructure, enterprise systems and technical innovation at Alaska Airlines and sister carrier Horizon Air.

Prior to joining Alaska Airlines in August 2014, Sita served as the CIO for Seattle-based Collier’s International, a commercial real estate services company, where he oversaw enterprise digital strategy. While there, Veresh implemented the ground-breaking Colliers Hub, bringing together the Cloud, mobility, social collaboration and big data to connect Colliers employees around the world.

Sita’s career spans multiple geographies and industries, including Big Five consulting firms and FORTUNE 500 companies. Before Colliers, he served as Program Director of Global Business Systems at Starbucks, where he led the largest business process and systems transformation in Starbucks history.

A 23-year technology professional, Sita earned a bachelor's degree in commerce/business information systems from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was born and raised. He serves on the boards of Community for Youth and EveryoneGives -  an online platform to revolutionize social philanthropy.

Vice Presidents

  • Ann Ardizzone - Vice President, Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain Management
  • Gary Beck - Vice President, Flight Operations
  • Jeffrey Butler - Vice President, Customer Service - Airports & Cargo
  • Mark Eliasen - Vice President, Finance and Treasurer
  • Karen Gruen - Vice President, Corporate Real Estate
  • Andrew Harrison - Senior Vice President, Planning and Revenue Management
  • Glenn Johnson - Executive Vice President, Alaska Air Group
  • Curtis Kopf - Vice President, Customer Innovation
  • Kris Kutchera - Vice President, Information Technology
  • Keith Loveless - Executive Vice President and General Counsel 
  • Greg Mays - Vice President, Maintenance and Engineering
  • Thomas Nunn - Vice President, Safety
  • Andy Schneider - Vice President, Inflight Services
  • Joseph Sprague - Senior Vice President, Communications and External Relations
  • Shane Tackett - Vice President, Labor Relations
  • Herman Wacker - Vice President, Legal
  • Tamara S. Young -  Vice President, Human Resources
     

Other Elected Officers

  • Shannon Alberts - Corporate Secretary

Appointed Officers

  • Herman Wacker - Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer