Company: Southwest Airlines Co.
Founded: 1971 by Herb Kelleher and Rollin King
1996 vitals: $3.4 billion in operating revenue,
$207.3 million in net income, 108.4 million bags of peanuts served
Number of job applications received in 1996: 137,504
Number of new employees hired: 4,857
From co-founder Herb Kelleher: "Don't be afraid to be a maverick. We caution our employees never to rest; they should always be looking over their shoulders and seeking new and better ways of doing their jobs.'