Howard Putnam

Howard Putnam‘s ultimate objective is Bottom Line Improvement. He believes that cultures that place people as their highest priority have the greatest long term impact and success.

Howard Putnam is the former CEO of the highly successful Southwest Airlines transforming a small entrepreneurial venture into a major competitor. In three years profits increased by 200 percent. Putnam accepted the challenge of Braniff International in 1981 and became the first Chairman and CEO to successfully restructure a major airline out of bankruptcy. Earlier he spent over 20 years with United Airlines, his final position being Group Vice President of Marketing.
He has also been an entrepreneur and has learned “Crisis Management” by living it. Harvard wrote a case study on his Braniff experiences called “The Ethics of Bankruptcy.” It is a model for handling all stakeholders honestly and ethically in crisis and moving the process to a rapid and successful conclusion in only 16 months. Braniff flew again in 1984.

Putnam is currently the co-founder of Aircraft Interior Resources. AIR restores the passenger compartments of commercial jets.

HarperCollins published his first book in 1991 on leadership and ethics The Winds of Turbulence. He is a regular commentator for NPR’s Marketplace program. Howard Putnam has an MBA in Marketing from the University of Chicago and attended Harvard’s Advanced Management Program.

For nearly thirty years, Howard played a leading role in one of the most exciting and rapidly changing industries. He earned a well-deserved reputation for his capacity to think systematically, create a vision, build a team, define a niche, and design successful strategies for managing growth and crisis. An impressive entertainer and motivational speaker, Howard shares his prescription for successful management in the 21st century.

Howard Putnam grew up un an Iowa farm where he learned to fly. His wife, Krista, a former flight attendant, is a native of Ohio.