Leading Airline Executive Brings Marketing and Payments Savvy to Fast-Growing Venture-Backed Technology Company

SUNNYVALE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–December 17, 2015–

UpLift, Inc., an innovative startup at the intersection of marketing and payments, welcomes Kevin Krone, vice president and chief marketing officer of Southwest Airlines, to its board of directors.

Krone has 23 years of experience at Southwest Airlines. As vice president and chief marketing officer, he is responsible for all aspects of Southwest’s marketing strategy and execution, including the oversight of the company’s brand development, advertising, promotions, mobile and digital strategy and execution. Prior to his promotion to vice president and chief marketing officer, Krone led marketing, sales and distribution at Southwest. Krone also oversaw the re-launch of the improved Rapid Rewards loyalty program in 2011, which powers one of the most successful VISA© co-brand credit card programs in the world.

Krone joins two other outside directors on UpLift’s board. Alex Rosen is Managing Director of IDG Ventures USA and a board member at numerous SaaS, cloud infrastructure, and e-commerce companies. IDG Ventures USA is part of a global network of technology venture funds with approximately $3.7 billion under management and over 200 active portfolio companies. Robert Soderbery is Senior Vice President of Enterprise Products and Solutions at Cisco, responsible for innovation and product development across the $25B core business at Cisco. Krone has been a board member of HomeAway (NASDAQ: AWAY) since May of 2013 through its recent sale to Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE) for $3.9 billion.

“Technology innovation and entrepreneurship have always been a strong interest of mine. I have been following UpLift’s rapid growth and am excited to help fuel its success. This is a team that can deliver complex, powerful technology at scale faster than any other group I have ever seen,” said Kevin Krone, vice president and chief marketing officer of Southwest Airlines.

Additionally, Krone will become the Chairman of UpLift’s Marketing Advisory Board. Beginning in 2016, Krone will be inviting leading marketing executives from across the travel industry and ecommerce to look ahead at the frontiers of marketing and payments.

“Southwest is known for its maverick style, and Kevin exemplifies this spirit. As UpLift reinvents payment marketing, we need a marketer with big company experience who is not afraid to challenge the status quo. This is precisely how Kevin operates. He’s an ideal fit for UpLift,” said Brian Barth, CEO and co-founder of UpLift.

UpLift was founded by Brian Barth and Stu Kelly, co-founders of SideStep. SideStep invented the travel metasearch business and was acquired by Kayak in 2007 for $200 million. In 2012, Priceline purchased Kayak for $1.8 billion.

About UpLift:

UpLift’s Payment Marketing Platform empowers large online merchants to promote preferred payment types, drive customer acquisition, build loyalty and expand co-brand card usage. Working initially with travel companies and e-commerce merchants, UpLift’s payment analytics enables merchants to gain real-time payment insights, influence payment choice and optimize marketing results. UpLift is easy to implement and compatible with all payment systems. UpLift has raised $8.2 million in its Series A financing, led by IDG Ventures. Learn how your company can transform payments into a competitive marketing advantage at www.UpLift.com.


In its 45th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 48,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest proudly operates a network of 97 destinations across the United States and seven additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season.

Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity. That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency℠, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. In 2014, the airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what’s important in their lives.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as “The Southwest Effect,” a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets. With 42 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2014 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at SouthwestOneReport.com.

Book Southwest Airlines’ low fares online at Southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.

Visit the Southwest Newsroom at swamedia.com for multi-media assets and other Company news

UpLift, Inc.
Brian Barth, 408-524-300
Southwest Airlines Media Relations Team:
214-792-4847, option 1

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