Robin Hayes to pass JetBlue CEO baton to Joanna Geraghty effective February 12

Robin Hayes to Pass JetBlue CEO Baton to Joanna Geraghty in February

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes is leaving his position and will be succeeded in February by the president and COO of the airline, according to an announcement on Monday.

Joanna Geraghty will join the board of the company and assume the role of CEO on February 12. After almost 20 years of employment, she was named president and COO of JetBlue in 2018. She oversaw JetBlue’s regulatory affairs and litigation while serving in a variety of vice president capacities.

Robin Hayes on this announcement said;

“the extraordinary challenges and pressure of this job have taken their toll,” thus he is stepping down after consulting with his doctor and his wife. He will act as a strategic advisor in the upcoming months in addition to serving as a member of JetBlue’s board of directors until his retirement.

Robin Hayes stated in a statement, “Given her crucial role in managing JetBlue’s day-to-day operations and positioning the airline for success, the board and I are confident that Joanna is more than ready with a strict succession plan in place.”

“She has led the airline through the most challenging period in its history, managed the creation and implementation of fresh business ventures, and devoted endless energy to improving JetBlue for both our employees and passengers,” Said by Robin Hayes.

According to a statement from Hayes, Geraghty, who was formerly a partner at a law firm, has been “actively engaged” in the carrier’s attempt to purchase Spirit Airlines.

For nine years, Robin Hayes served as CEO of JetBlue. He began working for the low-cost airline in 2008, serving in various roles including president, executive vice president, and chief commercial officer. He spent 19 years of his prior employment at British Airways.

Hayes was installed in response to Wall Street’s demands for improved stock performance. Under his direction, the airline began offering basic economy tickets, densified the aircraft, equipped thinner, less cushioned seats, and stopped providing free checked bags.

Meanwhile, the carrier performed the worst in the US last year in terms of on-time performance. They consistently rank last and perform worse than Spirit and Frontier

As of Monday’s close, JetBlue’s shares had dropped by nearly two-thirds since Hayes took over as CEO in February 2015. As of 10:16 a.m. on Tuesday, the stock was down 5.9% to $5.41 in New York.

About Lawsuit & Hayes Responses:

In March 2023, the US Justice Department filed a lawsuit to halt JetBlue‘s proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit.

“We think the DOJ is misinterpreting the law here and is missing the fact that this merger will establish a nationwide low-cost, premium competitor to the Big Four carriers, who control approximately 80% of the US market due to their own DOJ-approved mergers,” stated JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes at the time of the announcement.

Although JetBlue still performs rather well in the air and has generally good business class, they struggle greatly on the ground, where, according to reports, confusion predominates in comparison to their larger airline siblings. The carrier made several strategic deals under his tenure:

    • They joined hands with American Airlines. The Trump administration gave this approval, but subsequently the Biden administration reversed it and sued to undo it. Despite having a strong case, JetBlue lost at the federal district court, and they chose not to file an appeal in order to concentrate on their deal with Spirit Airlines.
    • They outbid Frontier for the carrier in an agreement to buy Spirit. The Biden administration was against that as well. They overpaid for an airline that isn’t doing well financially, and they’ve already compensated Spirit stockholders while we wait for the trial’s verdict.
    • They attempted buying Virgin America but were defeated by Alaska Airlines.

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