26 Feb 2017

Alaska Airlines hires CIO and promotes controller as it integrates Virgin America

Alaska Airlines made two key senior executive appointments as it starts the big job of integrating information technology systems and staffers from its newly acquired Virgin America affiliate in California.

Alaska hired Charu Jain as chief information officer to oversee the SeaTac-based airline's information technology group of 400 workers. She most recently led the IBM Global Business Services team helping American Airlines integrate its IT systems.

Jain worked at at United Airlines for 20 years, starting as a programmer and rising to senior managing director of airline operations technology and integration before leaving in 2012. She has an MBA in international management from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and a bachelor's degree in economics from Lucknow University in India.

"Charu's experience as both an airline executive and consultant is perfectly suited to help Alaska Air Group successfully integrate Virgin America from a technology standpoint," Alaska Airlines Chief Financial Officer Brandon Pedersen said in a news release.
Charu replaces Veresh Sita, who left for a job in the Middle East in September.

Alaska also promoted Chris Berry to vice president of finance and controller of the airline and parent company Alaska Air Group Inc. erry joined Alaska Airlines in 2005 as director of financial reporting and later served as managing director of investor relations, then managing director of accounting and Alaska Air Group controller.

The airline said Berry championed several highly-acclaimed initiatives "to deepen employee understanding of the financial aspects of the airline industry."

Before joining Alaska, Berry worked in public accounting for Arthur Andersen and KPMG. He is a University of Louisiana graduate and a licensed certified public accountant.
"He embodies our corporate leadership principles, especially his 'roll-up-your-sleeves' style of working with his team and unwavering integrity," said Pedersen. "His promotion reflects his outstanding achievements, and the new complexity of his role following our merger with Virgin America."

Source :| American City Business Journals.

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