NEW YORK – JetBlue Airways announced that Joanna Geraghty, currently the company’s president and chief operating officer, will succeed Robin Hayes as chief executive officer, effective February 12, 2024. Hayes will continue to serve on the company’s Board of Directors until that time, at which point Geraghty will join the Board. Hayes will serve as a strategic advisor to the company over the coming months.
Hayes said: “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. 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. I am deeply grateful for these many exciting years and I feel very lucky to have worked at an airline with a brand, culture, and team that are simply unlike any other in the world.
“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. She guided the operation through the most turbulent time in airline history, has overseen the development and execution of new commercial initiatives, and has tirelessly worked to make JetBlue a better place for our crewmembers and customers. She has been actively engaged in our integration planning with respect to our proposed Spirit transaction. In addition, Joanna and the team have developed a strong plan for JetBlue as we work to return to profitability. For all these reasons, I know the airline is well equipped to continue driving progress and I can pass the baton with confidence knowing she is the right leader at the right time for our airline.”
Peter Boneparth, chair of JetBlue’s Board, said, “On behalf of the entire Board, I want to congratulate Joanna and thank Robin for his contributions and outstanding leadership. 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. We especially appreciate Robin’s willingness to continue to extend his tenure through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID crisis, and then again as we pursued our plan for the transformational Spirit acquisition.
“When Robin informed us of his decision to retire after many years of service to JetBlue, consistent with the Board’s extensive succession planning the Board unanimously voted to transition the role to Joanna, knowing she is fully prepared to step into the role. Joanna is a proven strategic leader and she is clearly the right person to carry JetBlue forward into this next chapter. The combination of her passion for the business, deep understanding of the airline, and commitment to creating value for shareholders, customers, and crewmembers provided the leadership we needed through times of unparalleled industry disruption. Together, she and Robin have worked to ensure the company is strong and well positioned for the future.”
Geraghty said, “I am honored and excited to serve as the next CEO of JetBlue. With a beloved brand, an industry-leading customer experience, a unique culture, and the industry’s best crewmembers, JetBlue has long been a disruptor. 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.”
During Geraghty’s nearly 20-year career at JetBlue, she has contributed with various roles of increasing responsibility. In 2018, she was named president and chief operating officer, responsible for the airline’s operations and commercial performance including network, brand and marketing, and revenue management. Prior to this, Geraghty served as JetBlue’s executive vice president, customer experience, responsible for airports, customer support, and inflight service. She also held the role of executive vice president, chief people officer, as well as vice president, associate general counsel and director, litigation and regulatory affairs. She has also served as a member of the board of the JetBlue Foundation. Before joining JetBlue, she was a partner at the law firm Holland & Knight.
Geraghty serves on the board of directors of L3Harris Technologies and is chairperson of the board of Concern Worldwide, an international not-for-profit. She received her bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross, her master’s in international relations from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, and her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law.
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