Executive team

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

Edward Sims

President and CEO

Edward Sims

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, External Affairs and Chief Legal Officer

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.

Diederik Pen

Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

Robert Antoniuk

Diederik joined WestJet in October of 2021 as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. Reporting to the President and CEO, Diederik is responsible for daily operations of the airline and will oversee many teams including Flight Operations, Inflight, Airports, Technical Operations, General Operations and WestJet Encore.

Diederik has more than 25 years of aviation-industry experience in the Asia-Pacific and European regions and joins WestJet most recently from Wizz Air, a fast-growing, ultra-low-cost business, where he held the position of Executive Vice-President and Group Chief Operations Officer. 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.

A native of the Netherlands, Diederik holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Business Economics from the University of Amsterdam.

Diederik enjoys travelling and exploring new destinations with his wife Hiske and their twins, Vivienne and Vincent. In his spare time, Diederik enjoys running, cycling, skiing and is a self-declared petrolhead (avid car enthusiast).

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).

John Weatherill

Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer

John Weatherill

Reporting to the President and CEO, John leads WestJet’s Commercial team with responsibility for network planning, alliances, revenue management, sales, loyalty, digital, marketing, and WestJet Vacations.

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 VP Revenue and Pricing, and VP Network and Revenue.

Together, his teams are responsible for the optimization of WestJet’s revenue streams and the development of long-term guest engagement and loyalty. This includes managing profitable global growth through the strategic deployment of the airline’s fleet of more than 180 aircraft including WestJet’s new 787 Dreamliners, delivering $5 billion in annual guest revenue, pre-pandemic.

Prior to 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. When he is not relaxing at his family cottage, he can be found building backyard skating rinks.

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