Sweet 16 CEOs: Walmart vs. Southwest Airlines
TiiCKER’s Sweet 16 CEOs Competition and Sweepstakes, a contest that pits CEOs – representing both their alma maters and the publicly traded companies they lead – against each other while offering chances to win valuable prizes, presents a Round 1 matchup of neighboring states.
Representing the University of Arkansas and the Razorbacks, C. Douglas McMillon, President and CEO, Walmart Inc. (Tii:WMT), will face Gary Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines (Tii:LUV), and his University of Texas Longhorns.
McMillon has worked for Walmart throughout his career, starting as a summer associate unloading trucks in a distribution center while still in high school. After finishing his college education, which includes a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas in 1989, he rejoined the retail giant as a buyer in charge of fishing tackle and later as a merchandiser, dealing in food, clothes, crafts and furnishings. He held several positions over the years at Sam’s Club and Walmart’s international division before being tapped to head the world’s largest company by revenues.
Under Kelly’s leadership, Southwest has grown to become the nation’s largest airline in terms of originating domestic passengers carried and is a mainstay on Fortune magazine’s list of the most admired companies in the world, ranking 14th in 2021. He is a 35-year Southwest veteran who began his career at the airline as Controller, moving up to Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Finance, then Executive Vice President and CFO, before being promoted to CEO and Vice Chairman in July 2004. A lifelong Texan, Kelly received a B.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.
Which exec will lead his company and alma mater to the next round? Check back for recaps and the next set of matchups! Sweet 16 CEOs Competition winners will be chosen based on a variety of factors tied to company performance. The best part is you can win too! In the spirit of March Madness, tell us which team you are cheering for and why you are cheering for them. You will be entered for a chance to win one of four Benzinga.com Essential memberships for 12 months. That’s a $1400 value EACH. Click here to participate. See official terms.