DALLAS (NEWSnet/AP) — Activist shareholder Elliott Investment Management has bought a $1.9 billion stake in Southwest Airlines and seeks to oust the CEO.

In a letter to Southwest’s board, the investment firm noted Southwest’s stock price has dropped more than 50% in the past three years.

Elliott said Southwest has failed to evolve, hindering its ability to compete. 

“Poor execution and leadership’s stubborn unwillingness to evolve the company’s strategy have led to deeply disappointing results for shareholders, employees and customers alike,” the investment firm said in the letter, dated June 10.

Southwest CEO Robert Jordan has delivered "unacceptable financial and operational performance quarter after quarter,” the letter states. It said Jordan and former CEO Gary Kelly, now the executive chairman, “are not up to the task of modernizing Southwest.”

Elliott urges executives from outside the company to replace Jordan and Kelly, and for changes on the board, including new independent directors with experience at other airlines.

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