In our latest installment of Frank Discussions, Frank chats with Brad Tilden, former CEO and current Board Chair of Alaska Airlines, about his storied career with the PNW-based airline. Brad’s 30-year stint with Alaska Airlines has seen him through a myriad of leadership positions within the company; from Executive Vice President of Finance and Planning, to Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Controller, as well as President of Alaska Airlines from 2008 to 2016, and Chief Executive Officer from 2012-2021. They discuss key transition points in Brad’s career, his advice for how to navigate job transitions nimbly, and how to take advantage of new opportunities.
Frank and Brad move on to discuss Alaska’s focus on environmental impact, and which environmental initiatives he’s proudest of. In discussing personal growth and growing as a leader, they also delve into the topic of diversity, equity and inclusion, and how both Alaska Airlines and Brad himself have grown with respect to DEI.
Finally, they discuss Brad’s passion for aviation (he holds a commercial pilot’s license) and how his love for flying has helped him become a better leader.
Chair, Alaska Airlines Board of Directors
CEO of Alaska Airlines (2021-2021)
Brad Tilden currently serves as board chair of Alaska Airlines and board chair of Horizon Air. Under the leadership of Tilden and his team, Alaska is focusing on low fares, profitable growth of the route network, and creating an airline people love. Tilden is a 30-year veteran of Alaska Airlines. He previously served Alaska Air Group and Alaska Airlines as Executive Vice President of Finance and Planning, Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Controller. He was President of Alaska Airlines from 2008 to 2016, and has been Chief Executive Officer from 2012-2021.
Before joining Alaska, he spent eight years with Price Waterhouse. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University and an executive master’s degree in business administration from the University of Washington.
A Seattle native, Tilden grew up a few miles from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, where he developed an early love of aviation. He holds a commercial pilot’s license and enjoys cycling and outdoor time with his family in the Pacific Northwest.