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Neeleman To Step Down As JetBlue CEO  
User currently offlineWillbdsp From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 302 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 10318 times:

CNN is reporting that David Neeleman will step down as CEO and President David Barger will become the new CEO, effective immediately.

http://money.cnn.com/2007/05/10/news...t/index.htm?postversion=2007051009

78 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4247 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10290 times:

Very interesting.
I wonder how much of this had to do with February? My guess is that it was a factor but probably not the only reason.

Can Dave Barger run JetBlue effectively? He is certainly qualified enough.



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlineHiflyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2172 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10278 times:

If true this will hammer JetBlue stock to new lows as this carrier was built on his personality and presence. However,not surprising as his history points to about a 5 year in position stint.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Neeleman


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9590 posts, RR: 52
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10256 times:

Wow that is a surprise. Neeleman did a lot for that company. The board pushed him out according to reuters. Reuters was saying that it was because of the service meltdown in the Valentines Day storm. They are saying that the storm cost the airline 30 million dollars. I'm not sure how much the CEO had control over that, since jetBlue is still a relatively new company that doesn't have the experience of US, CO, UA and AA at dealing with big snow storms. Stakeholders might want him gone as a scapegoat. However I think Neeleman would be a steal for the management of another airline.

I personally wonder if he was pressured to leave because the company has not performed very well in the last year. The stock price is a lot lower than what it once was and the airline got a really bad reputation during this past winter. Those two things together could have been enough for management to push him out, but it is still a shocker. The stock has been on a steady decline since this winter.

[Edited 2007-05-10 15:24:40]


If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineQuickmover From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10221 times:

Just a wild guess here, but could he be on his way to Delta after Grinstein retires?

User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5150 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10172 times:

Quoting Quickmover (Reply 4):
Just a wild guess here, but could he be on his way to Delta after Grinstein retires?

Nope. The article says that the Board initiated the conversation, and that he was "pushed out" as a result of the service meltdown. Crazy. This guy built the airline, and it reflects his personality and the employees love him. I think that this is a crazy, crazy move.


User currently offlineQuickmover From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10119 times:

Herb Kelleher once said that the airline exec that he feared the most (competition wise) was Neeleman.

User currently offlineLogos From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 793 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10085 times:

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 5):
This guy built the airline, and it reflects his personality and the employees love him. I think that this is a crazy, crazy move.

I won't dispute that he has taken the airline to where it is now, but it may not be as crazy as it appears. Neeleman's history and forte is starting carriers up. He has never successfully shepherded a carrier through the period after start up, which is where jetBlue finds itself right now. I suspect that there are more operational issues underneath the surface and that the February meltdown was more of a symptom of a wider problem. The board has had some time to watch him try to clean up the operational mess and maybe they didn't like what they saw.

The stock price probably will take a short term hit, but I can see this as being a logical and necssary move for jetBlue's future.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando



Too many types flown to list
User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4247 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10025 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 3):
However I think Neeleman would be a steal for the management of another airline.

I highly doubt it, unless he starts a new one!!!

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 3):
Wow that is a surprise. Neeleman did a lot for that company.

Yeah, he started it and it was his vision. What an unceremonious end!
Personally, I think it is unfair to blame the whole events in February on Neeleman. I am well aware that it happened under his watch and he "took" the blame for it publically. I would argue that Neeleman was the one figure that could have successfully brought JetBlue through that crisis after it happened. I have flown JetBlue once since then, and based on what I know, I'd say they have done a pretty good job of recovering.

I really wonder how the Barger-era will affect B6...?!



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlineWjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5150 posts, RR: 22
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9928 times:

Quoting Logos (Reply 7):
I suspect that there are more operational issues underneath the surface and that the February meltdown was more of a symptom of a wider problem.

Wouldn't these be things that the Chief OPERATIONS Officer (i.e. Barger) would be responsible for?

The whole thing doesn't make sense to me. It's like Michael Dell reliquishing leadership of Dell, or Steve Jobs relinquishing leadership of Apple, when the Board thought that their entrepreneurial talents weren't appropriate to running a "developed" company. That would be nuts! (Oh, wait! That DID happen, and after a couple of years, each of the two was brought back because their successors ran their companies into the ditch. After that, Apple came out with the IPod, and Dell came out with Dell printers, both revolutionary moves for their companies. Maybe the lesson is that entrepreneurial spirit is important, even in an existing company?)


User currently offlineSkyexRamper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9873 times:

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 3):
Neeleman did a lot for that company. The board pushed him out according to reuters.

That's got to suck, you create the massive airline and get booted out...sad day.


User currently offlineFA4B6 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9873 times:

Quoting Richierich (Reply 1):
Can Dave Barger run JetBlue effectively? He is certainly qualified enough.

Dave Barger is an exceptional man and his strength, passion, and expertise will bring JetBlue successfully through our next steps as a company.


User currently offlineLogos From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 793 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9874 times:

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 9):
Wouldn't these be things that the Chief OPERATIONS Officer (i.e. Barger) would be responsible for?

You just don't know what the dynamic is if you're not there. It could be that Barger pushed for things prior to February that Neeleman squashed. I'm not saying that this is the case, but simply that there may be more than meets the eye here. What we do know is that Neeleman has started other airlines and has never been around past the stage where jetBlue is now, so there is reason to question whether he is the guy to move the airline forward from here.

It's also entirely possible that what you say is true - that jetBlue is ditching the very guy who can guide them toward a better future. Time will tell.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando



Too many types flown to list
User currently offlineGregarious119 From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 532 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9809 times:

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 9):
fter that, Apple came out with the IPod, and Dell came out with Dell printers, both revolutionary moves for their companies

With no intent to hijack the thread....Dell Printers? Revolutionary???

I've seen one...ever. iPod, certain revolutionary. I wouldn't exactly classify the printers on the same level as the iPod


User currently offlineJeff G From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 436 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 9809 times:

Quoting Hiflyer (Reply 2):
If true this will hammer JetBlue stock to new lows as this carrier was built on his personality and presence.

Au contraire. Stock is up strongly this morning.

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 3):
I'm not sure how much the CEO had control over that

The CEO had more control over that than is generally known. The board certainly knew.

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 5):
This guy built the airline, and it reflects his personality and the employees love him. I think that this is a crazy, crazy move.

I think you may be overstating the case some. He built the airline but there is not a unanimous consensus even among employees as to how well he has run it. Dave Barger on the other hand has nearly universal support. This move plays to the strengths of both men: Neeleman as strategic visionary and Barger as operational expert.

Overall, a good decision.


User currently offlineRichierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4247 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9791 times:

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 9):
Wouldn't these be things that the Chief OPERATIONS Officer (i.e. Barger) would be responsible for?

That's kind of what I thought, too. But Barger has experience running an airline, Neeleman is apparently better at starting them and building them. And Neeleman will still have a lot of influence on the future of the airline as he is on the BoD (sort of like Herb's influence at WN).



None shall pass!!!!
User currently offlinePoitin From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9791 times:

Quoting Logos (Reply 12):
You just don't know what the dynamic is if you're not there. It could be that Barger pushed for things prior to February that Neeleman squashed. I'm not saying that this is the case, but simply that there may be more than meets the eye here. What we do know is that Neeleman has started other airlines and has never been around past the stage where jetBlue is now, so there is reason to question whether he is the guy to move the airline forward from here.

I suspect that there are already at least three "unauthorized" tell-all books being written on this situation. We should know more in 6 months.

Quoting Logos (Reply 12):
It's also entirely possible that what you say is true - that jetBlue is ditching the very guy who can guide them toward a better future. Time will tell.

While I agree with you both, I suspect that it really was time for Neeleman to move on. I have been in many startups over the years, starting with DEC (Digital Equipment Corp) and have seen just about all of them fail because the guy who started them was not able to deal with a maturing company. DEC lasted the longest, but it too failed. I think JetBlue has a better chance with a new leader.

This is not in take from Neeleman -- he is brilliant, but his talents are in the start up phase. He should go start something else.


User currently offlineRDUDDJI From Lesotho, joined Jun 2004, 1465 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9771 times:

I am shocked. IMO he is one of the great visionaries of this industry. This news breaks my heart. I am a huge fan of his.

He may very well be the best leader (currently) in the U.S. airline industry I hope this was mutual, because he deserves the best. He built that company. I thought the press release was a joke at first. News like this really makes me think I need an industry change. I don't even know what else to say, I'm sincerely disappointed.

Shocked.



Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
User currently offlineAlphascan From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 937 posts, RR: 13
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9626 times:

There is a little start up in SFO that may be looking for a new leader very soon.


"To he who only has a hammer in his toolbelt, every problem looks like a nail."
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9608 times:

Quoting Gregarious119 (Reply 13):
Dell Printers? Revolutionary?

FWIW, Dell Printers are Dell in name only -- they're Lexmark printers that have been slightly modified to only work with Dell-branded ink/toner cartridges. And the two I've seen are the crappeiest/most annoying printers I've ever encounted (Dell provided them to the university I worked for to try to sway us from HP)

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineAogdesk From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 935 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9513 times:

Perhaps he'll be headed to Virgin America if Reid is forced out by DOT......

User currently offlineWestIndian425 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1024 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 9513 times:

Well Neeleman is to remain as Chairman, so it's not like he's totally leaving the company.


God did not create aircraft pilots to be on the ground
User currently offlineLumberton From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 4708 posts, RR: 20
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 9352 times:

Quoting WestIndian425 (Reply 21):
Well Neeleman is to remain as Chairman, so it's not like he's totally leaving the company.

There goes the Virgin American gig!  Wink



"When all is said and done, more will be said than done".
User currently offlineStyle From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2006, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 9352 times:

Quoting WestIndian425 (Reply 21):
Well Neeleman is to remain as Chairman, so it's not like he's totally leaving the company.

Non-Executive Chairman. They made that clear in the news release. Neeleman will be a figure within the company but Barger will be the only guy running the show.


User currently offlineSLCUT2777 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 4049 posts, RR: 11
Reply 24, posted (7 years 3 months 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 9320 times:

Quoting Quickmover (Reply 4):
Just a wild guess here, but could he be on his way to Delta after Grinstein retires?

Highly doubtful. but he certainly has better odds than Doug Parker. DL will likely stay internal and go with either Ed Bastian or Jim Whitehurst.
Keep in mind Neeleman is in his early-mid sixties and perhaps he will just come back to SLC and spend more time. Despite the problems this year, I still think B6 has been his best creation to date eclipsing Morris Air (bought out by WN in 1994) and WS.



DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
25 Post contains links RDUDDJI : Actually Neeleman is 47 (I was surprised to learn that today also). He's had some impressive accomplishments to only be in his 40's. Age Source: http
26 SKYYBLUE : Neeleman is 47.
27 LTBEWR : While shocked by Neelman's departure, I am not necessarly surprised due to the winter storm fiascio with it's costs and as noted above, the overall de
28 Sllevin : Neeleman's departure is not surprising. jetBlue is fundamentally a "boom-founded" airline, formed by investors who looked for and gambled on massive g
29 N844AA : Wow, I'm surprised to see this now, though I think that this is probably a more defensible step than it seems now that B6 is an established airline an
30 JFK787NYC : I was very shocked when some people on this forum said Neeleman is in his early sixties when I just seem him on Bloomberg Television. I was very surpr
31 Crogalski : This is a complete shock, I for one am deeply saddened.
32 Post contains links ChiGB1973 : http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070510/bs_nm/jetblue_ceo_dc I think it's a good move. I don't think the Valentine's Day massacre really should have been
33 AADC10 : Yep. Because he is relatively young, JetBlue would probably slap some kind of restraint on him to prevent him from working for another airline for se
34 Poitin : I think you have the situation nailed. It is time for JetBlue to move on with new leadership into a new direction because the startup is over.
35 Logos : Yep, I agree with you both. The phase that jetBlue is entering now can be a lot more tricky. The planes aren't as new, costs will go up without tight
36 BigOrange : Maybe Virgin America will hire him in place of Fred Reid??
37 Post contains links BOS2LAF : From http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070510/bs_nm/jetblue_ceo_dc I'm surprised no one has caught the part about open skies yet. This could get interestin
38 BWIA 772 : Agreed it will be interesting to see how the company performs under the new leadership.
39 Post contains links SLCUT2777 : I was quite surprised to learn he's only my age as well. Neeleman was born October 16, 1959, which makes him only not quite two months older than me
40 Etops1 : i am shocked. i like jetblue airways. i have a lot of friends over there. i think neelman was good for jetblue. i met barger once on the airplane whil
41 GARUDAROD : Therein lies your answer. VA is in need of a CEO that will be acceptable to the DOT, Neeleman is experienced with a startup w/ A320's and a unique cu
42 Socaljoeyb : Neeleman did a good job in starting up one of my favorite airlines. I hope he stays with B6. If not, I wish the best to Neeleman and B6 both.
43 Flying_727 : "JetBlue said he would carry on as non-executive chairman playing a more strategic role. " What kind of strategy are they talking about? Corporate str
44 Post contains links Lowecur : This was overdue. DB is the logical replacement but his tenure is not sealed in cement. It's my feeling he will be given a fair shot to turn the compa
45 UA76Heavy : Agreed. Often something like the "meltdown" is used as a convenient excuse for removing someone. There could be deeper problems that concern investor
46 Post contains links TVNWZ : Neeleman admits he is NOT an operational guy... JetBlue Air Names Barger to Succeed Neeleman as Chief (Update7) By Mary Schlangenstein and David Milde
47 Flybyguy : I feel that without Neeleman at the helm the airline will be run just like any other. Neeleman brought a good sense of "caring" to the airline. The pa
48 F9Animal : I too am beyond shocked. This man built B6 from nothing to something. Whatever the case may be, I am certain he will pursue another venture of succes
49 FA4B6 : Guys, he's not going anywhere. He remains Chairman of the Board. This is a good move for him as this will allow Neeleman to do what he does best - gra
50 JetBluefan1 : I have to disagree with you on this. Dave Barger isn't stupid. Much of JetBlue past success was not only because of its low costs but also because of
51 AirFrnt : I think this is exactly what needs to happen. Neeleman is a visionary, no doubt about it, but he is also famous for his Attention Defect Disability/Sy
52 AvConsultant : You've got that backwards. The CEO manages the long term vision of a company and investor relations. Actually day to day operations would be managed
53 Logos : I think you have reason to be if you're a fan of jetBlue. This shows some recognition of where they are as a company and what they need to move ahead
54 Post contains images SkyyMaster : Yeah and the cartridges are NOT cheap. Lot's of rumors to B6 future in another thread. Man I love a.net. Conspiracy theorists at our finest. My guess
55 JetBlueAUS : This is good, I think. Personally, I think JetBlue will be a stronger company with Barger in control.
56 JRDC930 : So much for the only airline in the U.S. that actually treated its customers like humans... hope this guy doesnt follow the "screw the passenger" tren
57 Richierich : I don't doubt your claims about the short-term future of this industry but typically when oil goes up and spending goes down (a recession??), the thi
58 Post contains images Hiflyer : yeah...whoopee...stock jumped a whole 5% when the damage control rumor of a takeover was launched to stem the fear of a drop based on the original new
59 SkyyMaster : I would agree. I think new blood sometimes is the best thing for any company in any industry. I also tend to agree B6 would be a survivor of a downtu
60 FA4B6 : PW powered birds? Do you mean Pratt & Whitney? JetBlue uses IAE V2500's on their A320 fleet.
61 Lincoln : Umm... No. I have nothing against B6 -- in fact, I think I'd like to give them a whirl some day -- but they certainly aren't the "only airline in the
62 Post contains links Ha763 : I think a high level change was in the works for a few months and started with the hiring of Russell Chew as the new COO at JetBlue back in March. Rus
63 JRDC930 : I stand corrected, i have experienced CO and DL and they do treat their customers equally as well or better, im just saddened to see a CEO who genuin
64 PropilotJW : You also need to remember that Dave Barger is a co-founder of the company and cares not only about returning the airline to profitability but also ke
65 PlanenutzTB : I've been involved in two businesses recently where the creative geniuses or founders of a brand, were not necessarily the most qualified people to r
66 Post contains links JRDC930 : Quoting PlanenutzTB (Reply 65): February 14 proved the Neeleman may not be the best person to run jetBlue as it grows. No offense, but its astounding
67 N174UA : I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner. The buck stops at the CEO's desk. Should B6's COO be fired too? You betcha. He had 110% control. Directly? No.
68 SkyexRamper : So we're judging the Feb 14th mishap as the end to his control over B6....why should it be his fault that there weren't any gates open to repark airp
69 Wjcandee : Good observation. Also, a number of experienced commentators who weren't taking the easy way out by bashing B6 have thoughtfully observed that the "n
70 Wjcandee : Read in the NY Post this morning that Standard and Poors downgraded B6 and placed it on credit watch because their analyst believed that this could ne
71 Post contains images Poitin : I think you have hit the important point. What will the new guy bring to the party? We can only wait. I can already see the future threads about B6.
72 N1120A : I can see that. Hence why he had to go to Canada and work on WestJet and then develop Open Skies. They are similar in many ways. I am betting he has
73 Wjcandee : Well, his JBLU stock makes him a very wealthy guy. The Post reports that he made $X million on an approximately X percent rise in stock price. Doing
74 Post contains links EmSeeEye : This change also gives him the ability to campaign for Romney. Interesting timing: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/11/business/11air.html?ref=business
75 Richierich : Any time there is a change in leadership at a company, the result is usually a downturn in the stock price and/or credit rating. As I understand it,
76 EmSeeEye : Doubtful. Considering how tight Neeleman is with Schumer, you cant tell.
77 JetBluefan1 : I don't support a First Class product for JetBlue - their economy product is amazing as it is. Nonetheless, some people on Airliners.net claim that J
78 AltairF28 : I was watching Keith Olbermann's show tonight and saw the stock footage of Romney at the B6 terminal on BOS, which they seem to show every time they
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