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about 1 year ago
Location: Toronto
Job type: Permanent
Sector: Business & Administration
Category: Senior Manager
Salary Band: Executive

Posting Open Date: 09/18/2017

Position Title:

Vice President, Digital & Innovation

Employment Terms:

Permanent Full-Time

Reporting to:

Ed Sims, Executive Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer


Toronto, ON



Company Background and Culture

WestJet (TSX: WJA) is an iconic Canadian brand. The country’s 2nd largest airline is continually recognized as one of the top employers in the country and one of Canada’s most admired corporate cultures.

Founded in Calgary, Canada in 1996 as a regional, low-cost carrier with three aircraft and 220 employees, WestJet has experienced momentous growth. Today, WestJet is a thriving international airline operated by 12,000 employees, collectively known as WestJetters. Through scheduled flights across an expanding network, WestJet also operates WestJet Vacations, providing air, hotel, car and excursion packages, and WestJet Encore, a regional airline operating in Canada and the United States. WestJet continues to grow into new territory, with imminent plans to launch an ultra-low cost carrier (ULCC), branded totally separately from WestJet, and open access to new markets (i.e. Asia) with the recent orders of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Further corporate information is available here: javascript:void(0);


The Vice President, Digital & Innovation (VP) will lead the creation and roll-out of WestJet’s digital strategy, building robust structure and driving digital innovation. A key member of the Commercial leadership team, the successful candidate will be responsible for driving long-term profitable growth and improving guest experience across all digital channels over the entire travel journey. As a digital specialist, they will understand the value of data, and have the ability to leverage data to solve problems in support of our guests’ needs. A key deliverable is to ensure that WestJet's digital channels capture their optimal channel share at the lowest cost. Of critical importance to the role is the ability to take an enterprise view of digital strategy, offering digital solutions not only to our guests, but to staff and other stakeholders as well. The VP will play a key role in developing the overall distribution strategy and ultimately, delivery of results.

This individual will also be responsible for optimizing WestJet’s self-serve initiatives in terms of revenue, cost, ancillary revenue, conversion rates, call deflection and guest satisfaction. A critical focus will be placed on deepening our direct interaction and relationships with guests while supporting an omni channel view. The VP will leverage analytics data and competitive intelligence research to shape their strategy and drive data-driven business decisions. In pursuit of increased revenues and improved guest experience, the VP will use innovation methodologies to create new viable business offerings and/or services.

In addition, the new VP will be accountable for all web and App development as well as associated IT development and web operations teams, and associated contractors. This position will re-assess the digital structure as well as set up and manage an Innovation Centre of Excellence focused on leading edge digital and other non-traditional approaches & partnerships for the airline. The VP will understand the need to balance the maintenance of existing infrastructure with the need for continuous improvement and innovation.

Role and Responsibilities:

* Drive the long term vision and strategy for WestJet to become a leading airline & vacation package provider in the digital space.

* Lead the 3-5 year strategy and experience for WestJet.com, WestJet Vacations, mobile apps, WestJet Rewards Portal, Self-Serve Check-In and in-flight entertainment portal (WestJet Connect).

* Work collaboratively with key stakeholders and partners to facilitate the integration WestJet’s product strategy across all of WestJet’s digital channels (i.e. websites, ecommerce platforms, mobile apps and self-serve check-in).

* Work with Revenue Management, Marketing and Network Planning teams to execute the digital components in support of the retail strategy and supporting revenue targets. Work with the retail team to lead the execution of the retail marketing calendar in all digital channels.

* Work with Product Development, Brand and Product Marketing teams execute the Product and Brand Marketing campaigns through all digital channels and supporting revenue targets.

* Lead the E-Commerce, UX/Design, Digital Delivery teams by clearly defining strategic purpose of roles, establishing individual performance expectations, providing continuous feedback, coaching and developing, conducting ongoing recognition and succession management.

* Establish and build an Innovation Centre of Excellence in Toronto with a team consisting of top talent digital strategists and web/app developers and associated contractors.

* Evaluate emerging technologies. Provide thought leadership and perspective for adoption where appropriate. Build relationships with notable digital suppliers and innovators; and

* Partner with senior IT leadership in the development and execution of digital and e-commerce channels/functionality to reach new guests and retain existing guests, while continually seeking to improve their experience.

First Year Deliverables

* In collaboration with the EVP Commercial & CIO, build an enterprise-wide digital strategy;

* Consolidate digital platforms and begin to implement robust structure across the business;

* Establish a new Innovation Centre for Excellence and build a talented team of digital innovators; and

* Identify the top sources of frustration for guests and build execution plan for solutions.

Professional Experience/ Qualifications

* Minimum of five years’ experience at a senior management level leading digital (omni-channel) and ecommerce strategy for a mid to large size customer-centric organization, ideally within the airline or travel industry;

* Minimum of five years’ experience in a management role with a proven track record of attracting and developing a talented digital team;

* Demonstrated ability to develop and led a digital marketing and channel strategy within a complex, multi-faceted environment;

* Over five years’ of experience overseeing the Marketing, Customer Behavior, Financial Analysis or Digital Analysis functions;

* Deep knowledge of ecommerce, customer experience, web analytics and user behaviors, including search engine marketing and search engine optimization.

* Broad exposure and knowledge of social media marketing, email/CRM and display advertising and SEM/SEO;

* Must have demonstrated ability to quickly build strong and lasting internal relationships by working collaboratively in a complex stakeholder environment;

* Desire and proven ability to make a significant impact through innovation, both by playing a strategic role and when necessary taking a “roll-up-your-sleeves” attitude to make things happen;

* Strong communication, analytical and interpersonal skills with the ability to organize and prioritize work to meet deadlines and handle multiple projects;

* Must possess excellent leadership and influencing skills with a track record of developing and inspiring a high performing, guest service oriented team; and

* Must be available to travel, as required.


* A degree in business, engineering, marketing or computer science (or related field) is required;

* An MBA would be an asset.

Required Skills, Competencies & Attributes

* Innovator: Has a proven track record of championing, setting up and delivering innovative new technologies, products and services; a disruptive thinker.

* Problem Solver: A non-linear thinker who can conceptualize laterally, not literally; has a sense of customer orientation and the ability to analyze pain points and create solutions.

* Achiever: Gets things done by setting clear expectations, promoting high levels of accountability, monitoring performance, and getting directly involved when needed to achieve desired business results; uses business and financial acumen to create value and drive profitability.

* Evaluator: Makes timely decisions and applies sound judgment to assess risks, evaluate alternatives and select the best course of action; uses a combination of analytical thinking, intuition, mental agility, and seasoned experience to address complex or ambiguous issues.

* Strategist: Uses foresight, environmental awareness and thought leadership to create a compelling vision for the future and develop distinctive strategies to achieve desired business outcomes; fosters new ways of thinking and drives needed change to transform the business.

* Collaborative approach with the ability to work in partnership with people relations and senior leadership teams.

* Communication skills, both written and verbal, paired with strong interpersonal and presentation skills required to develop positions and present to all levels of management.

* Leadership skills with the ability to be both strategic and visionary, and tactical and hands-on; a leader who can inspire their people and grow their capacity as professionals.

* Relationship-building skills, has a demonstrated ability to build strong, respectful relationships with leaders, human resources professionals, and employee representatives to ensure creation and maintenance of a positive, productive, and engaging environment.


A competitive compensation package will be negotiated based on experience and qualifications. This position is eligible for a performance bonus as per WestJet’s compensation policy and the Total Rewards program that includes the following: extended health, emergency travel medical, dental, vision, short-term disability (STD), long-term disability (LTD), life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) & travel benefits. This position is also eligible for relocation assistance.

Contact Details

To express your interest visit javascript:void(0); or forward your CV, attention Lisa Helfrick and Kara Watson to: globalleadershiprecruiting@westjet.com.

WestJet An Alberta Partnership

22 Aerial Place NE

Calgary, AB T2E 3J1


We would like to thank all applicants in advance for their interest in WestJet. We believe in enriching the lives of everyone in WestJet's world and encourage applications from all qualified individuals. Our ongoing efforts toward evolving total diversity will continue to be the way we do business every day. As owners, we believe in celebrating everyone’s unique skills, perspectives and experiences. WestJet is committed to inclusiveness, equity and accessibility. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply.

If you inspire greater creativity and innovation towards reaching new altitudes and meet the qualifications for the position in which you are interested, we welcome you to complete an online application. WestJet is a great place to land - powered by Talent and Growth.

At WestJet, the safety and security of our people and our guests is a core value and at the heart of what we do. As safety and security is a shared responsibility, it is expected that you will utilize safe work practices to ensure your well-being and the safety of others.

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