WestJet Airlines founder joins Haskayne School of Business as resident fellow
University of Calgary lands Beddoe
Calgary - The Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary is honoured that Clive Beddoe, founder and chairman of WestJet Airlines Ltd., has accepted the 2010/11 Jarislowsky fellowship in business management.
Beddoe was instrumental in making WestJet one of the most successful airlines in recent aviation history. As the Jarislowsky fellow, he will spend several days on campus over the course of the academic year, and will be involved in student activities, in-class and public lectures, and a variety of functions where students, faculty, and alumni can learn from him.
“It takes drive and passion to launch and grow a great business,” says Beddoe, “and I was fortunate enough to have chosen the right opportunity when it presented itself. Through this fellowship, I hope to share my experiences with the next generation of executives, perhaps showing them how they can become truly successful without compromising their personal values, their enthusiasm, or their ability to have fun.”
“Clive Beddoe is a legend in this city and across Canada,” says Dr. Leonard Waverman, dean of the Haskayne School of Business. “He is the ultimate embodiment of entrepreneurialism and the perfect example of how attitude, talent, excitement, and humility can combine to yield inspirational leadership. We are so fortunate to have him join us this year.”
Beddoe and three other local entrepreneurs launched WestJet in 1996 as a low-cost airline, operating with three second-hand planes and just over 200 employees. Today, the company flies to 71 destinations, employs 7,700 staff, and is the second-largest Canadian air carrier, with passenger revenues of $2.2 billion in 2009.
In September 2007, Beddoe was appointed chairman of WestJet, having previously served as president and CEO. His unique leadership style and commitment to employee participation shaped the company’s renowned corporate culture and showed how the no-frills airline business could be profitable. A pilot himself, he learned financial planning and strategic management early in his career through several successful real estate and plastics enterprises.
The Jarislowsky Resident Fellow in Business Management is the result of a million-dollar gift to the Haskayne School of Business by Stephen A. Jarislowsky, founder of the investment management firm Jarislowsky Fraser. The gift was matched by the Government of Alberta’s Access to the Future Fund. Beddoe has directed his honorarium to charity.