JetBlue Appoints New CEO, As Robin Hayes Retires

There’s a management change coming to JetBlue, although don’t anticipate that a complete lot will change on the airline (for higher or worse)…

JetBlue appoints Joanna Geraghty as CEO

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes has revealed that he’s going to retire as of February 12, 2024, although he’ll proceed to function a strategic advisor for the airline within the coming months. Hayes is outwardly making this choice at “the recommendation of [his] physician,” as “the extraordinary challenges and stress of this job have taken their toll.” He’ll get replaced by Joanna Geraghty, who’s at present the corporate’s president and chief working officer.

Geraghty has had fairly the profession at JetBlue, as she has been on the airline for almost 20 years. She was appointed to the function of president and chief working officer in 2018, and has been chargeable for the corporate’s operations and business efficiency, together with community, model and advertising and marketing, and income administration.

Previous to that, she held a wide range of roles on the airline, starting from govt vp of buyer expertise, to chief folks officer, to affiliate basic counsel. Previous to becoming a member of JetBlue, she was a companion at a legislation agency.

Whereas Hayes retiring is catching lots of people off guard, I don’t assume anybody is shocked that Geraghty is being appointed as his alternative. As soon as she takes on her new place, she’ll be the primary feminine CEO of a significant US airline.

JetBlue Airbus A321 Mint enterprise class cabin

What JetBlue executives must say about this

Right here’s what JetBlue’s present CEO, Robin Hayes, needed to say about this retirement:

“It’s bittersweet to retire from this airline I really like, however I’ll at all times really feel part of the JetBlue staff and be rooting for its continued success. For almost 35 years – each at British Airways and right here at JetBlue – I’ve liked working on this {industry}. Nevertheless, the extraordinary challenges and stress of this job have taken their toll, and on the recommendation of my physician and after speaking to my spouse, it’s time I put extra deal with my well being and well-being. I’m deeply grateful for these many thrilling years and I really feel very fortunate to have labored at an airline with a model, tradition, and staff which are merely in contrast to another on the earth.”

“It has been a privilege to steer JetBlue for the previous 9 years, and I’m pleased with all we now have achieved. With a rigorous succession plan in place, the board and I are assured that Joanna is greater than prepared given her vital function in working JetBlue’s day-to-day enterprise and positioning the airline for achievement. She guided the operation by way of probably the most turbulent time in airline historical past, has overseen the event and execution of latest business initiatives, and has tirelessly labored to make JetBlue a greater place for our crewmembers and clients. She has been actively engaged in our integration planning with respect to our proposed Spirit transaction. As well as, Joanna and the staff have developed a robust plan for JetBlue as we work to return to profitability. For all these causes, I do know the airline is effectively outfitted to proceed driving progress and I can move the baton with confidence figuring out she is the precise chief on the proper time for our airline.”

Right here’s what JetBlue’s new CEO, Joanna Geraghty, needed to say about her new place:

“I’m honored and excited to function the subsequent CEO of JetBlue. With a beloved model, an industry-leading buyer expertise, a novel tradition, and the {industry}’s greatest crewmembers, JetBlue has lengthy been a disruptor. I’m excited to proceed working with JetBlue’s 25,000 crewmembers who’re as energized as I’m about difficult the established order and bringing humanity to an {industry} lengthy dominated by the legacy carriers. I’m so pleased with what we’ve achieved over the past 20-plus years, and I’m wanting ahead to constructing on this momentum as we execute on our strategic initiatives, return to worthwhile development, and generate sustainable worth for our shareholders and all our stakeholders.”

JetBlue Airbus A321 economic system class cabin

My tackle JetBlue’s new CEO

Once I first heard this announcement, I used to be shocked by the timing. It’s fairly an essential interval for JetBlue, because the airline awaits the outcomes of the trial relating to its takeover of Spirit. However the timing is defined by the point out of Hayes’ well being.

I want him the perfect. I can solely think about the toll that being CEO of an airline can tackle somebody over time, as industries don’t get way more disturbing than aviation, particularly with what airways (and specifically, JetBlue) have been coping with lately.

Now, what do I make of Geraghty being appointed CEO? She has at all times struck me as a vivid particular person, and since US airways have a tendency to advertise from inside and don’t wish to rock the boat, it’s not stunning that the corporate’s quantity two has been picked to steer the airline.

Whereas there’s lots of modern stuff that JetBlue has executed over time, I can’t assist however really feel just like the airline wants some contemporary pondering, as the present technique simply hasn’t been working effectively. JetBlue affords a improbable expertise in each economic system and enterprise, however isn’t in a position to get a lot of a income premium for it, and may’t appear to run a dependable operation.

JetBlue’s operational reliability lately has been its largest weak spot. Heck, in line with Cirium’s latest report for 2023, JetBlue ranked useless final among the many eight largest US airways in terms of on-time efficiency. So in that sense it appears bizarre to advertise the one who oversees operational reliability (not that it’s her fault straight, however what’s being executed to enhance issues?).

I definitely don’t envy the timing with which Geraghty is being appointed to this function. If the Spirit takeover is authorized, she’ll be chargeable for a difficult integration with questionable financials. If the Spirit takeover isn’t authorized, then JetBlue can also be going to must do lots of soul looking out, as a result of the established order isn’t precisely working nice…

JetBlue Airbus A321neo

Backside line

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes is retiring as of February 2024, and might be changed by Joanna Geraghty, the corporate’s president and chief working officer. Geraghty is the logical successor to Hayes, on condition that she is at present president.

Geraghty doesn’t look like she’s going to rock the boat, within the sense that she has an analogous mindset to Hayes. I do want JetBlue would embrace a brand new path, and I don’t assume an govt who has been on the airline for 20 years would be the particular person probably to do this. Then once more, JetBlue is restricted in what it could possibly do in the intervening time, given the Spirit takeover.

What do you make of adjustments to JetBlue’s CEO?

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