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Alaska Air's Beck becomes COO, Minicucci remains president

Alaska Air Group has made several high-level management shifts, including splitting the president and chief operations officer (COO) role into two positions. Ben Minicucci, who formerly was Alaska's president and COO, has now taken the single title of president, Alaska says.

The company's new COO is Gary Beck, who formerly was president and chief executive of Alaska's regional subsidiary Horizon Air.

The changes are effective immediately.

As president, Minicucci will focus exclusively on management of the company's operations and commercial activities. His duties include execution of Alaska's strategic plan and oversight of its flight network, schedules, fares, marketing, safety and real estate.

Minicucci had been president and COO since 2016. He helped lead Alaska's acquisition and integration of Virgin America – an effort now largely complete, the airline says.

As COO, Beck will manage Alaska's daily operations and report to Minicucci. Beck transitions to the new job after working two years as chief of Horizon. Earlier, Beck was vice-president of Alaska's flight operations.

Additionally, former staffer Joe Sprague has returned to Alaska to be president of Horizon. Sprague had spent 17 years at the company, holding positions such as senior vice-president of external relations, vice-president of marketing and vice-president of Alaska Air Cargo.

He left the company in 2017 to take a job as executive director of Washington State Catholic Conference, an advocacy group for Catholic bishops.

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