Alaska Airlines taps Gary Beck to serve as COO

Alaska Airlines has appointed a new COO, removing that title from airline president Ben Minicucci.

New COO Gary Beck, who for the past two years has been president and CEO of Alaska subsidiary Horizon Air, will oversee day-to-day operations.

Minicucci, who has helped guide Alaska through its merger with Virgin America as president and COO, will continue to be responsible for high-level operational and commercial functions with a focus on executing the company’s strategic plan, the carrier said.

Beck will be replaced at Horizon by Joe Sprague, who will come out of retirement to fill the role. Sprague previously worked for the carrier between 2000 and 2017.

"Together, these talented executives bring more than four decades of expertise working across a wide variety of divisions at Air Group," Alaska Air Group chairman and CEO Brad Tilden said in a prepared statement. "We've doubled in size in just the past five years. Their experience and leadership abilities will be crucial as we continue to grow and navigate new opportunities and challenges."

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