Rob Brown is an accomplished leader in the travel industry, with more than 31 years of experience, 26+ of those years at Southwest Airlines. Since originally joining Southwest in 1993, Rob has held various roles in Marketing and now Southwest Business. Rob currently serves as Managing Director of Business-to-Business Strategy (B2B) & Services.
Rob’s career at Southwest has been marked by a number of key achievements over his 26+ year career that have influenced the Southwest Business travel strategy and has influenced the business travel industry. Rob was one of the chief directors behind the launch of Southwest’s business travel portal SWABIZ in 2000, helping Southwest pioneer a direct distribution strategy in the B2B managed travel sector and establishing itself as a leader with this strategy. In 2010, Rob helped launch the next phase of Southwest’s direct distribution strategy. He was a key contributor within Southwest leadership to establish a direct connect strategy through a Southwest-owned API-Direct Connect channel. This channel enabled Southwest to connect directly from the Southwest reservation system to all the major corporate booking tools in the managed travel space. With Rob’s leadership, Southwest's distribution strategy positioned Southwest Business as a viable option in the market for preferred carrier status in the competitive field of managed travel. In 2019, Rob worked with his senior leadership team to reinvent Southwest’s B2B distribution strategy by negotiating industry-standard agreements with all three of the major GDSs (Sabre, Travelport and Amadeus) and helping to solidify a channel of choice portfolio to meet the travel needs of travelers in the marketplace, from global companies to small enterprises.
Over the years, Rob has been an active voice in the business and travel industry. In 2022, Rob was among 55 leaders in the Dallas-Fort Worth market selected by the Dallas Regional Chamber to engage and complete a nine-month leadership program (Leadership Dallas). The program engages leaders with diverse business and leadership experience to serve as thought leaders in helping deliver creative solutions to help businesses in the city of Dallas and the entire region thrive and grow their influence. Over the years, Rob has also been active in the business travel space, serving on several boards and committees: ARC Distribution Advisory Council, ASTA Corporate Advisory Committee, The Beat Live editorial board, GBTA Aviation Committee, Aviation Festival of Americas Advisory Board, Business Travel News DEI Committee, ATPCO NDC Exchange Advisory Group, Southwest Business Travel Management Company Advisory Board. He has been on ARC’s Board of Directors since 2023.