WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims will retire at the end of this year, the carrier announced.
Sims has worked with WestJet since 2017 and served as CEO since 2018, when he took over from retiring president and CEO Gregg Saretsky. During his time with the carrier, Sims oversaw “the significant expansion of WestJet’s international network” as well as the addition of Boeing 787 long-haul aircraft, according to WestJet. He also “was a critical part” of investment firm Onex Corp.’s acquisition of WestJet, which closed at the end of 2019 and took the carrier private, Onex senior managing director Tawfiq Popatia said.
Sims will continue in a senior advisory role focused on aviation and aerospace with Onex following his retirement and will return to New Zealand.
“My time with WestJet has been an absolute career highlight and a privilege in my 35 years in the travel and aviation industries,” Sims said in a statement. “The global pandemic and the ongoing travel restrictions have separated so many of us for so long from loved ones. With two children in New Zealand, I am prioritizing the needs of family who I will not have seen in two years.”
WestJet’s board of directors has begun a search to find Sims’ replacement, according to the carrier.