JetBlue CEO resigns

JetBlue CEO resigns

JetBlue Airways Chief Executive Robin Hayes said Monday he plans to resign after nine years in the job and while he is in the midst of trying to complete a merger with Spirit Airlines that could reshape the industry, if it’s the case. not blocked in court.

Mr. Hayes will be replaced by Joanna Geraghty, the company’s president and chief operating officer, on Feb. 12, which would make her the only woman to lead a major U.S. airline. Mr. Hayes, 57, will serve as a strategic adviser to the company following his resignation.

In a lengthy statement, Mr. Hayes called the decision to step down “bittersweet” and suggested that unspecified health issues had motivated it.

“The extraordinary challenges and pressure of this job have taken a toll, and on the advice of my doctor and after speaking to my wife, it is time for me to focus more on my health and well-being,” did he declare. “I am deeply grateful for many exciting years and feel very fortunate to have worked at an airline with a brand, culture and team that is simply unlike any other in the world.”

JetBlue announced plans to buy Spirit in 2022 for $3.8 billion. The Justice Department worked last year to prevent the deal, and the federal trial in that lawsuit ended last month. The presiding judge has yet to issue a ruling that could clear the deal, require JetBlue and Spirit to make concessions, or block the merger altogether.

Mr. Hayes joined JetBlue in 2008 from British Airways. He became chief executive in February 2015. The company said in a securities filing that Mr Hayes informed the board of his intention to resign on Sunday, with the board voting to approve Ms Geraghty’s appointment, 51 years old, same day. .

In a message to employees, Mr. Hayes said he had been considering resigning for some time.

“This decision to retire has been difficult and deeply personal, and I have put it off for some time – first when Covid threatened our future and again when we had the opportunity to acquire Spirit,” did he declare.

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David B.Otero

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