JetBlue said on Monday that C.E.O. Robin Hayes will retire next month and will be replaced by the airline’s president, Joanna Geraghtywho will become the first woman to head a major US airline.
Geraghty, 51, joined JetBlue in 2005 and has played an increasingly prominent role at the New York-based airline in recent years, including becoming president and chief operating officer in 2018.
Geraghty said she was honored to take on the new job and said she looked forward “as we execute on our strategic initiatives, we will return to profitable growth and create sustainable value” for shareholders.
“The extraordinary challenges and pressures of this job have taken their toll, and following the advice of my doctor and after speaking with my wife, it is time for me to focus more on my health and well-being,” Hayes said in a statement.
The change at the top will take place on February 12. This happens during JetBlue is waiting for a federal judge in Boston to decide whether he can buy Spirit Airlines for $3.8 billion in an attempt to quickly become a competitor to America’s largest airlines. The Justice Department sued to block the deal, and a trial took place last fall.
Hayes, 57, a former British Airways executive who joined JetBlue in 2008 and became CEO in 2015. He pushed the airline to launch transatlantic flights and create a partnership in the North East with american airlines. However, the deal with American was terminated after the Department of Justice successfully filed a lawsuit to void it.
JetBlue It is the country’s sixth-largest airline by revenue, slightly behind the fifth-largest airline. Alaska Airlines. For several years, Hayes has pushed for mergers to get closer in size to American, Delta, United and Southwest.
JetBlue tried to buy Virgin America in 2016, but Alaska Airlines outbid. Hayes scored a victory in 2022 when JetBlue beat out Frontier to a deal with Spirit, the nation’s largest low-fare airline.