Executive team

Review individual biographies by clicking the Executive team member's name.

Executive committee

Alexis von Hoensbroech

Alexis began his role as Chief Executive Officer, WestJet in February of 2022.  

Responsible for the overall leadership of the WestJet Group of Companies, Alexis harnesses the power of WestJet’s people, fleet and technology to strategically position the airline for long-term profitable success.   

Prior to joining WestJet, Alexis spent 16 years at the Lufthansa Group, his last role being the CEO and CFO of Austrian Airlines where, during his three-and-a-half-year tenure, he restructured the airline and its network to compete with ultra-low-cost-carrier (ULCC) competition in Austria. In addition, Alexis was instrumental in successfully leading the company through the COVID-19 crisis. Previous roles within the Lufthansa Group included Chief Commercial Officer of Lufthansa Cargo AG, head of commercial at the airline's biggest hub in Frankfurt, and head of strategy and investment management for the Lufthansa airline. 

Born in Cologne, Germany, Alexis attended the University of Bonn, where he received his Physics diploma in 1995 and later, completed his PhD at Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in 1999. Alexis spent his early career at The Boston Consulting Group, working out of their Munich and Tokyo offices, with a strong focus on clients from the aviation industry.   

Angela Avery

Angela Avery joined WestJet February 2020 as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary and in June of 2022, assumed the role of WestJet Group Executive Vice-President and Chief People, Corporate & Sustainability Officer.  

In her role, Angela is responsible for a strategic set of complementary functions that support the WestJet Group’s businesses and the communities they serve including, People and Culture, Communications, Legal, Government, Regulatory, Community Investment, and Environment, Social and Governance (ESG).  

Angela is an experienced airline and energy executive. With more than 25 years’ legal and commercial leadership experience, Angela joined WestJet from Athabasca Oil Corporation, where she was General Counsel and Vice-President, Business Development. In this role, Angela was responsible for legal, business development, human resources as well as marketing and transportation. Previously, she was at ConocoPhillips where she led business development teams responsible for more than $25B in transactions and became the Chief Compliance Officer of global operations based in Houston. 

Angela’s international experience includes an appointment to the United Nations Compensation Commission where she worked in Geneva, Switzerland to prepare and present war reparations claims to an international court. Angela is an active member of the community and has served on several not-for-profit boards including the Canadian Energy Law Foundation, the Calgary YMCA, Arts Commons and the Calgary Zoo. 

Her favourite destination is Palm Springs because picking a grapefruit right off the tree for breakfast never loses its magic. 

Diederik Pen

Diederik joined WestJet in October of 2021 as Group Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. Responsible for the safety and daily operations of the WestJet Group, Diederik oversees flight operations, inflight, airports, technical operations, general operations, crew resources and training. With a focus on optimizing the efficiency of WestJet’s operational performance and enhancing the experience of the airline’s frontline staff, Diederik leads a dedicated and collaborative team who support the airline’s immediate and future operational success.   

With more than 25 years of aviation-industry experience in the Asia-Pacific and European regions, Diederik joined WestJet from Wizz Air, a fast-growing, ultra-low-cost business, where he held the position of Executive Vice-President and Group Chief Operations Officer. In this role, Diederik was responsible for the company’s significant expansion into the U.K., Central and Western Europe and its startup in the Middle East. Previously, Diederik held leadership roles at Martinair Holland and Virgin Blue Airlines in Australia. 

Diederik holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Business Economics from the University of Amsterdam. 

Harry Taylor

Harry joined WestJet as Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in October 2015. Harry has led the airline’s inaugural U.S. bond issue, negotiated the purchase of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and was instrumental in the sale of WestJet to ONEX. Through the COVID-19 pandemic, Harry led WestJet’s Finance team in managing its liquidity to position the airline for recovery.  

As CFO, Harry is responsible for accounting, financial reporting, financial planning & analysis, investor relations, internal audit, procurement, supply chain, treasury and tax.  

Before joining WestJet, Harry spent more than 20 years in retail and consumer packaged goods. He held senior finance and operating leadership roles with Canadian Tire Corporation, Holt Renfrew, Home Depot, and Frito-Lay in both Canada and the United States. Harry began his career in professional services, serving clients for McKinsey & Company for five years and Ernst & Young for three years. 

Harry earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Trinity College, University of Toronto in 1983, a Chartered Accountant designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 1985 and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario in 1988. 

Harry still hasn’t visited Hawaii, despite frequent WestJet flights, buts hopes to soon! 

John Weatherill

As Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, John is responsible for WestJet’s network & alliances, revenue management, sales, marketing, WestJet Vacations, contact centre, and guest experience. 

Under his leadership, John oversees a group of dedicated teams who enhance the WestJet guest experience and drive the optimization of WestJet’s revenue streams and brand to support the strategic direction and low-cost foundation of the WestJet Group. This includes the deployment of the airline’s fleet of more than 180 aircraft across its growing global network to align with WestJet’s long-term strategy.  

John has more than 20 years’ experience in the aviation industry and joined WestJet in 2013 as Director, Network and Schedule Planning. He subsequently held the roles of Vice-President, Revenue and Pricing, and Vice-President, Network and Revenue.  John and his team’s commercially driven efforts deliver $5 billion in annual guest revenue.  

Before joining WestJet, John was Executive Vice-President, Route Development at InterVISTAS Consulting. During his time there he held responsibility for management of the firm’s air service development practice, leading strategic projects for airport, government and tourism clients in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and North America. 

John holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. 

John and his family enjoy travelling to sunny destinations.  

Executive team members

Bob Cummings

Bob was welcomed back to Swoop, WestJet’s ultra-low-cost carrier, as President on April 18, 2022. 

Prior to returning to the WestJet Group, Bob spent two years at the helm of Central Mountain Air as Chief Executive Officer. In this role, he led through pandemic turbulence and positioned the regional airline for success in recovery, while building the airline’s culture. Prior to Central Mountain Air, Bob spent 13 years with WestJet, spanning several notable Executive Vice-President positions, including President of Swoop in 2018, where he was responsible for the start-up and launch of Canada’s first successful ultra-low-cost airline. 

During his tenure with WestJet, Bob led the growth of WestJet Vacations, WestJet Rewards, and was integral in the launch of WestJet Encore, WestJet’s regional airline. As WestJet’s Chief Commercial Officer, Bob grew the airline’s revenue from just over one billion to more than $4.5 billion. Prior to joining WestJet, Bob spent more than 13 years in leadership positions in the utility and telecom markets.  

Christian Novosel

Christian (Chris) joined WestJet in August of 2022 as Chief Digital Officer. 

Responsible for the digital transformation of the WestJet Group with a focus on enhancing operational efficiency as well as the employee and guest experience, Chris leads WestJet’s digital roadmap, data science, advanced analytics, and business intelligence agenda. In addition, Chris leads the delivery and evolution of WestJet’s digital products including, WestJet’s website and guest apps, and direction of all major projects through the airline’s Group Project Management Office.    

With over 20 years of aviation experience, Chris joined WestJet from Austrian Airlines where he served as Chief Data Officer & VP of Business Development. In this role, he established the airline’s centralized digital team, implementing digital tools and data solution across Lufthansa Group.  

Before joining Austrian, he was responsible for Lufthansa German Airlines overall strategic roadmap and investment portfolio, after joining from The Boston Consulting Group, where he led transformation projects for many major global airlines in North America and Europe from the New York and Zurich offices. 

In his free time, Chris also follows his passion for aviation, flying everything with wings, from floatplanes in the Canadian North to bush-planes in the South African bushveld.

Karl Schuster

Karl joined WestJet in January 2022 as Executive Vice-President and Chief Loyalty Officer. 

Prior to joining WestJet, Karl spent five years as CEO of Virgin Australia Group and Affinity Private Equity’s Velocity Frequent Flyer Programme. Under his leadership the business grew significantly before being purchased for profit in late 2019. 

Karl has also served as the Managing Director of Carlson Marketing Group Australia and New Zealand based in Sydney between 2001 and 2006. In 2006, he was promoted to President of the Asia Pacific region. Following the acquisition of Carlson Marketing by Canada’s Aimia (Aeroplan) in late 2009, Karl re-located to Singapore to oversee the development of Aimia's business in Asia. During his tenure, Aimia grew to eight offices in seven countries with over 500 people serving some of the region’s largest clients. He oversaw the implementation of some of the largest and most successful loyalty programs across the airline, financial services and retail sectors as well as leading multiple Aimia investment initiatives in the region. 

Prior to moving to Australia, Karl spent ten years with the Ogilvy Group, initially in London and latterly heading up the OgilvyOne business in Cape Town, South Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from University College Dublin in 1984. 

Photo of Kirsten de Bruijn

Kirsten joined WestJet in April 2022 as Executive Vice-President Cargo.

Under de Bruijn’s leadership, she will be instrumental in building the airline’s dedicated cargo capabilities and service offerings, while growing a high-performing cargo organization capable of succeeding within a rapidly evolving market.

With her large portfolio of air cargo experience and more than 15 years in the airline industry, de Bruijn joins WestJet Cargo most recently from Qatar Airways, where she served as Senior Vice President Cargo Sales and Network Planning. During her time at Qatar Airways, de Bruijn managed the airline’s global cargo sales organization including product development and marketing and was responsible for the freighter network planning department. Prior to her tenure at Qatar Airways, de Bruijn served as Vice President, Cargo Pricing and Interline at Emirates Sky Cargo.  

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