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Executive team

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

Edward Sims

President and CEO

Ed Simms

Throughout his aviation career, Ed Sims, has demonstrated that an emphasis on peoples’ development and transparent communication are the stepping stones to success. As President and CEO, responsible for both the strategic direction of the company and the day-to-day operations, Ed leads WestJet’s employees with this emphasis and the professional values of accountability, resilience, authenticity, aspiration and humility.

His confidence in the strength of these guiding principles rests in his track record.

Ed joined WestJet in 2017 as Executive Vice-President, Commercial and became President and CEO in 2018. He led WestJet from its first quarterly loss in 52-consecutive quarters, and his first as CEO, to a position of sustained and significant profitability.

Under his leadership, WestJet made significant strides in its evolution from a point-to-point, low-cost carrier to a global network airline, with the arrival of the first 787 Dreamliners and the introduction of business cabin and premium service. WestJet has continued to be recognized as Canada’s Favourite Airline (TripAdvisor 2017/2018/2019) and as a national standout in safety and operational efficiency being named one of North America’s top-10 most on-time airlines for 2019 (Cirium).

In 2019, Ed led the organization through the largest private equity deal in aviation history with the purchase of WestJet by Onex.

Ed started in the United Kingdom travel industry and has enjoyed a varied career spanning more than 30 years in tourism and aviation across the European, Australasian and North American markets. Prior to WestJet, Ed held senior commercial and operational leadership positions within the Tui, Thomas Cook and Virgin Groups and served for ten years at Air New Zealand where he led the international wide-body business. His role prior to Westjet was marked by six years of service as CEO of Airways, New Zealand’s air navigation service provider.

Follow Ed Sims on LinkedIn for his thoughts WestJet, aviation, leadership and more.

Angela Avery

Executive Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Angela Avery

Angela Avery joined WestJet February 2020 as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. With more than 25 years’ legal and business experience, and an extensive regulatory and compliance background, Angela lands at WestJet from Athabasca Oil Corporation where she was General Counsel and Vice-President, Business Development and was responsible for legal, business development, human resources as well as marketing and transportation. Previously, she had various technical and leadership roles at ConocoPhillips and TC Energy.

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.

Having served on several boards including the Canadian Energy Law Foundation, the Calgary YMCA, Arts Commons and the Calgary Zoo, Angela is an active member of her community.

Angela and her husband enjoy planning family adventures that almost always involve hiking and history. Her favourite destination is Palm Springs because picking a grapefruit right off the tree for breakfast never loses its magic.

She is called to the bar in Alberta and New York.

Charles Duncan

Executive Vice-President and President, Swoop

Charles Duncan

Charles Duncan joined WestJet in June of 2017 as the President of WestJet Encore. In August 2018 he became Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer before becoming the President of Swoop, WestJet’s ultra-low-cost carrier in April 2020.

As President of Swoop, Charles has accountability for all aspects of the business, including short and long-term planning, branding, pricing, product development and operations. Charles will drive Swoop’s footprint in Canada in support of the WestJet Group’s long-term strategy.

In addition to being the President of Swoop, Charles also oversees WestJet Cargo where he is focused on the domestic and international growth of the airline’s in-house cargo services.

Prior to joining WestJet, Charles enjoyed a long and successful career with Continental Airlines and then, through merger, with United Airlines. He navigated the commercial side of the Continental business with roles in pricing and revenue management, network planning and sales, spending thirteen years in Asia. In his last position at United Airlines, Charles was Senior Vice-President, Technical Operations, where he oversaw the maintenance organization of 12,500 employees.

During his 20-year career in aviation, Charles has held several senior leadership positions, including President of Continental Micronesia, Vice-President, Chicago O’Hare Hub, as well as Vice-President, Europe, Middle East, Africa and India for United Airlines.  

His favourite WestJet destination is the Okanagan Region in B.C. It combines world-class skiing, water sports, and plenty of outdoor activity, along with terrific locally-grown produce and amazing local wines. All wine-growing regions around the world are special, but for Charles, the Okanagan is the best.

Jeffrey (Jeff) Martin

Executive Vice-President and WestJet Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin joined WestJet in September 2018 as Chief Operating Officer (COO). As COO, Jeff is responsible for daily operations to include WestJet's Flight Operations (including the Operational Control Centre), Guest Experience (Contact Centre and Inflight), Airports, Technical (Maintenance) Operations, and the business strategy and execution of WestJet Encore.

Jeff comes to WestJet with more than 30 years of extensive commercial aviation and operational experience, having most recently served as Executive Vice-President of Operations for JetBlue Airways, where he was responsible for the Jetblue Lodge hotel and Training facility, Technical Operations, System Operations, Safety, Security, Flight Operations, Training and Regulatory Compliance for the sixth largest airline in the U.S. Prior to that he held various leadership roles at Southwest Airlines, where he started as a pilot and, over two decades, progressed to Vice-President of the Operations Coordination Centre.

Throughout his career, he has maintained his currency as a line pilot and civilian flight instructor. In 2019, Jeff successfully transitioned his FAA license and obtained his Canadian pilots license and B737 re-qualification and he flies the line at WestJet whenever possible.

Jeff also maintains an Airline Transport Pilot License and is Captain qualified on the DC-10, Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 aircraft. He served in the United States Air Force flying T-37’s, T38’s and the KC-10/DC-10 prior to beginning his commercial aviation career.

In addition to his work in the aviation industry, Jeff has been a board member at LaSalle Hotel Properties, Xwing Aviation, Mitre Advisory Board, Airlines for America and the NexGen Advisory board. In 2011 Jeff received the Williams trophy for Innovation in Aviation for Southwest Airlines investment in Performance Based Navigation.

Jeff’s passions also extend beyond all things aviation, and often involve adventure and competition, as he enjoys flying gliders, sailboat racing and cycling.

Mark Porter

Executive Vice-President, People and Culture

Mark Porter

Mark Porter joined WestJet in October 2015 as Executive Vice-President, People and Culture where his focus and leadership advances WestJet’s vision and culture. As EVP, Mark drives the airline’s cultural initiatives, performance management, learning and career development, and workforce planning.

Mark’s passion for human resources was born from working at Bombardier as an aircraft engineer and seeing the need for training and development. After pursuing his HR diploma, he was accepted at Bombardier as a HR Business Partner and the rest is history.

Before joining WestJet, Mark's career included work at Canadian companies including Molson Coors and Shaw Communications, where he was Chief People Officer at Molson Canada and Senior Vice President of Human Resources with Shaw Communications for almost a decade.

In his spare time, Mark sits on the volunteer board for STARS Ambulance and spends time with his family either in Calgary or in their favourite Canadian destination, Victoria B.C.

Harry Taylor

Executive Vice-President, Finance & Chief Financial Officer

Harry Taylor

Harry joined WestJet as Executive Vice-President, Finance & CFO in October 2015. Harry is responsible for accounting, financial reporting, financial planning & analysis, internal audit, procurement, 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.

A native of Winnipeg, Harry considers Toronto to be his hometown, even though he has lived in Dallas, Atlanta and Calgary for considerable periods of time. 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.

A passionate and enthusiastic leader, Harry believes strongly in WestJet’s vision and values and is determined to help lead us in delivering great results, as well as great experiences for both guests and WestJetters. His approach - which he will tell anyone who will listen - is simple:

  1. Lead and work like an Olympian (engage in a relentless pursuit of perfection)
  2. Avoid embodying Einstein’s definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results)
  3. Look out the window (give others credit) and look in the mirror (take responsibility).

Arved Von Zur Muehlen

Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer.

Arved Von Zur Muehlen

Arved Von Zur Muehlen joined WestJet in January of 2019 as Chief Commercial Officer.

Reporting to President and CEO, Ed Sims, Arved leads WestJet’s commercial team with responsibility for all aspects of the commercial function including digital marketing, network planning and alliances, revenue management, sales, loyalty, WestJet Vacations and marketing communications.

Arved brings more than 20 years of commercial aviation experience to WestJet. He joined the airline from Malaysia Airlines, where he served as Chief Commercial Officer responsible for the sales, revenue management, network planning, marketing and branding, product development, digital and customer experience. Prior to his role at Malaysia Airlines, he served as the Senior Vice-President of Commercial Network Operations at Qatar Airlines and the Vice-President of Sales and Marketing Intercontinental Markets at Swiss International Airlines. Arved also spent over 15 years with Lufthansa German Airlines where he took on various leadership roles.

Arved is fluent in both German and English.



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