Dec. 10, 2012
/PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) today said that
, the company's Vice President and General Counsel, has announced her decision to retire, effective
, 2013. Her successor will be
, currently Southwest's Associate General Counsel of Corporate & Transactions.
, Southwest's Executive Vice President & Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer said, "Madeleine has been a joy to work with, a ferocious protector of Southwest, and someone who has made incredible contributions to the success of our airline in her relatively short tenure."
Under Johnson's leadership, the General Counsel Department dealt with several complex legal cases in addition to intricate business negotiations. Perhaps her most significant victory for the future well-being of the Company was orchestrating the legal work to enable Southwest's acquisition of AirTran Airways, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest.
Johnson joined Southwest in 2008 as the airline's Vice President and General Counsel. She previously served as the Dallas City Attorney, as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of
, as Chief of the Opinion Division at the
Attorney General's office, and as a principal in the law firm of Fish & Richardson. She began her career as a commercial litigator at Thompson & Knight in
, and received her undergraduate degree from
Bryn Mawr College
and her law degree from
Tulane Law School
A known "travel buff," Johnson said her retirement will allow her to add more stamps to her U.S. Passport. She reports having traveled to 60 countries around the globe, and she is eyeing travel adventures to
, Scandinavia, and the Galapagos. She also said she hopes to volunteer more time with organizations focused on women's business initiatives. While at Southwest, Johnson was named a Texas Corporate Counsel "Superlawyer" in 2010; was selected as one of the top 25 DFW Women in Business by the
Dallas Business Journal
in 2011; and received the
General Counsel Forum Magna Stella Award for General Counsel of the Year in 2011.
Ricks announced that Shaw, 49, has been named to succeed Johnson as Vice President and General Counsel. Shaw joined Southwest in 2000 as an attorney in the General Counsel Department and was promoted in 2008 to his current role as Associate General Counsel of Corporate & Transactions. Prior to Southwest, Shaw worked as an attorney in the
office of the law firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP. He received his undergraduate degree from the
University of Texas at Austin
and his law degree from
Law School. Shaw also serves on the board of the DFW Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and on the advisory board of the
Southern Methodist University
Journal of Air Law & Commerce.
"I have great confidence in Mark's abilities and his character as a Leader," Ricks said. "This will be a seamless transition given his history with Southwest and with his colleagues in the General Counsel Department."