Alaska Air Group's (AAG) Board of Directors announced today that Lead Independent Director Patricia Bedient will replace Brad Tilden as chair of the company's Board of Directors, effective May 5, 2022. Ms. Bedient will serve as independent non-executive chair, while Mr. Tilden served as executive chair. The announcement is part of a leadership succession plan that involved Tilden retiring as CEO in March 2021 and passing the helm to Ben Minicucci.
"The transition to Ben as CEO has been seamless, the leadership team is operating as one and the company is coming out of the pandemic in a position of strength," said Tilden. "From having the most caring employees in the business, to consistently delivering industry-leading guest satisfaction scores, to being among the most financially solid of the nation's airlines, the company has the foundation it needs for profitable growth. The time is right for me to take the next step and retire from the board, leaving it in Patty's extremely capable hands."
Bedient, a member of AAG's board since 2004, has served as lead independent director since 2016, and is on the board's audit and governance, nominating and corporate responsibility committees. Bedient's leadership on emerging issues such as sustainability and governance as well as her deep business, finance and strategy expertise have been hallmarks of her 18 years with the airline.
"I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to continue my work on the board as chair and I am profoundly grateful for Brad's leadership and service over the past 30 years," said Bedient. "I look forward to working with Ben and the experienced and diverse leadership team we have on the board to lead this great airline into the next era."
Bedient served as CFO and executive vice president of Weyerhaeuser Company from 2007 to 2016, when she retired. While at Weyerhaeuser, she had several other leadership roles including senior vice president of finance and strategic planning and vice president. Previously, she spent 27 years with Arthur Andersen LLP and served as the managing partner for its Seattle office.
Bedient earned a bachelor's degree in business administration, with a concentration in accounting and finance from Oregon State University. The Wall Street Journal named Bedient one of the Top 25 CFOs in the S&P 500 in 2012 and the Puget Sound Business Journal named her Director of the Year in 2019.
In connection with Bedient's election as independent board chair, the Board of Directors appointed Kathleen Hogan chair of the board's governance, nominating and corporate responsibility committee. Hogan is chief people officer and executive vice president of human resources at Microsoft.
AAG is the holding company for Alaska Airlines, the fifth largest U.S. passenger airline, and regional carrier Horizon Air. AAG's independent board members are 42 percent female and 50 percent ethnically/racially diverse.