Alaska Airlines Appoints Three Leaders in Customer Innovation and Information Technology Divisions

Alaska Airlines has named three new managing directors to strengthen its growing Customer Innovation and Information Technology divisions as part of an effort to become the easiest airline to fly....

SEATTLE, Aug. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Alaska Airlines has named three new managing directors to strengthen its growing Customer Innovation and Information Technology divisions as part of an effort to become the easiest airline to fly.

"These new positions highlight Alaska Airlines’ continued investment in customer-friendly technology and innovation," said Kris Kutchera, the carrier’s vice president of information technology. "They will help us achieve our strategic goal of making our travelers’ experience—from buying a ticket to boarding their plane—as simple and efficient as possible. These individuals are all innovators and entrepreneurs with deep roots in consumer technology, and we welcome them onboard."

John Brewer has been named managing director of ecommerce and distribution. Brewer has more than 13 years of experience in ecommerce and online marketing. He started his career as a brand manager at BMW and joined Microsoft in 2000 with responsibility for developing new online businesses. At Microsoft, he held leadership roles in MSN, the Office Software division, and in Search, incorporating travel, ecommerce, and multimedia into Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. Brewer also led global media product planning for Expedia, and most recently served as director of ecommerce and digital marketing at TUI Travel, one of the world’s largest travel and tour operators. Originally from Cardiff, Wales, Brewer earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Reading and a master’s degree in business strategy from the University of Portsmouth.

Vikram Baskaran is Alaska Airlines’ new managing director of airline operations applications. Baskaran spent 14 years at United Airlines, most recently as director of applications development, where he led a range of programs including airport customer self-service, mobile tools for customer service agents, irregular operations, resource management, crew planning, supply chain management and operational metrics. He led the IT airport operations system selection and transition for the United-Continental merger. Baskaran earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering at the College of Engineering in Guindy, India, and a master’s degree in industrial engineering at the University of South Florida.

Troy Kaser is taking on the role of managing director of customer systems supporting all of Alaska Airlines’ customer-facing technology, including A 14-year veteran in ecommerce and mobile technology, Kaser previously served as vice president of engineering at Expedia and vice president of technology at Groundspeak. He pioneered Expedia’s software development team in London, which became an important technology and talent innovation center. He also co-founded, an online guide to Seattle’s fitness facilities. Kaser earned a bachelor’s degree at Florida State University.

Alaska Airlines has a long history of customer innovation, including being the first U.S. carrier to sell tickets on the Web and offer its customers online check-in. Alaska continues to offer customer-friendly technology to make flying easier with its industry-leading mobile applications and website and its recent rollout of self-bag tagging, among other efforts. Learn more at

Alaska Airlines, a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK), together with its partner regional airlines, serves 95 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines has ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers" in the J.D. Power and Associates North America Airline Satisfaction StudySM for six consecutive years from 2008 to 2013. For reservations, visit For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines Newsroom at

SOURCE Alaska Airlines