JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ: JBLU) has declared that Joanna Geraghty, the current President and Chief Operating Officer, will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective February 12, 2024.
This transition marks a significant shift in leadership as Robin Hayes, the outgoing CEO, steps down to focus on health and well-being, leaving behind a legacy of nearly 35 years in the airline industry.
A Legacy of Leadership
Robin Hayes expressed mixed emotions about retiring from a beloved airline but affirmed his continued support for JetBlue’s success.
“It’s bittersweet to retire from this airline I love, but I will always feel a part of the JetBlue team and be rooting for its continued success,” he said.
With a rich history at British Airways and a transformative nine years at JetBlue, Hayes emphasized the toll of the job’s extraordinary challenges on his health.
“For nearly 35 years – both at British Airways and here at JetBlue – I’ve loved working in this industry. However, the extraordinary challenges and pressure of this job have taken their toll, and on the advice of my doctor and after talking to my wife, it’s time I put more focus on my health and well-being.”
Despite stepping down, he will remain involved as a strategic advisor to the company, showcasing his dedication even in transition.
“It has been a privilege to lead JetBlue for the past nine years, and I am proud of all we have accomplished.”
“With a rigorous succession plan in place, the board and I are confident that Joanna is more than ready given her critical role in running JetBlue’s day-to-day business and positioning the airline for success,” Hayes said.
Support of JetBlue Board
JetBlue’s Board, led by Chairman Peter Boneparth, expressed confidence in the succession plan, unanimously voting in favor of Joanna Geraghty as the next CEO.
Acknowledging Hayes’s pivotal role in guiding the airline through turbulent times, Boneparth highlighted Geraghty’s readiness to take on the leadership mantle.
“On behalf of the entire Board, I want to congratulate Joanna and thank Robin for his contributions and outstanding leadership,” he stated.
“Robin guided the airline through significant change and innovation, caring for the unique JetBlue culture while also instilling a value creation mindset across the organization and positioning us for sustainable future growth.”
Joanna Geraghty: A Driving Force
Joanna Geraghty, currently the President and COO, has been a driving force behind JetBlue’s day-to-day operations and commercial initiatives.
With an impressive track record spanning almost 20 years at JetBlue, she has played key roles in various capacities, demonstrating her strategic leadership and commitment to the airline’s success.
Expressing her honor and excitement at the prospect of becoming JetBlue’s CEO, Geraghty emphasized the airline’s disruptive spirit, unique culture, and dedicated crewmembers.
With a focus on challenging the status quo and bringing humanity to the industry, she aims to build on JetBlue’s momentum, executing strategic initiatives for profitable growth and sustainable value.
Geraghty said, “I’m excited to continue working with JetBlue’s 25,000 crewmembers who are as energized as I am about challenging the status quo and bringing humanity to an industry long dominated by the legacy carriers.”
“I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished over the last 20-plus years, and I am looking forward to building on this momentum as we execute on our strategic initiatives, return to profitable growth, and generate sustainable value for our shareholders and all our stakeholders.”
A Vision for Success
Geraghty’s vision includes returning JetBlue to profitable growth, executing strategic initiatives, and generating sustainable value for shareholders and stakeholders alike.
Her passion for the business, deep understanding of the airline industry, and commitment to the company’s values position her as the ideal leader for JetBlue’s next chapter.
A Career of Contributions
Geraghty’s journey at JetBlue encompasses roles of increasing responsibility, from Executive Vice President of Customer Experience to President and COO.
Her diverse expertise includes overseeing operations, commercial performance, customer experience, and legal affairs, highlighting her well-rounded leadership skills.
Outside JetBlue, Geraghty serves on the board of directors of L3Harris Technologies and chairs the board of Concern Worldwide, an international not-for-profit.
Her educational background includes a bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross, a master’s in international relations from Syracuse University, and a J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.
Amidst this leadership transition, JetBlue remains focused on its operational performance and financial outlook.
The airline reaffirms its guidance for the fourth quarter of 2023, anticipating results at the better end of the provided guidance ranges. A detailed update on these projections is expected during the earnings call on January 30, 2024.
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