By Ramishah Maruf, CNN
New York (CNN) — JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes is stepping down from his role and will be replaced by the airline’s president and COO in February, according to an announcement Monday.
On February 12, Joanna Geraghty will take over as CEO and will join the company’s board. She’s worked at JetBlue for nearly 20 years and was named president and COO in 2018. She has also held different vice president positions and led JetBlue’s litigation and regulatory affairs.
Hayes is stepping down after taking advice from his doctor and speaking with his wife, as “the extraordinary challenges and pressure of this job have taken their toll.” He will continue serving on JetBlue’s board of directors until his departure and will serve as a strategic advisor over the coming months.
“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 in a statement.
“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.”
Hayes has led JetBlue as CEO for nine years. He first joined the budget airline in 2008, serving in various positions such as executive vice president, chief commercial officer and president. He previously worked at British Airways for 19 years.
Geraghty, who was previously a partner at a law firm, has been “actively engaged” in the carrier’s bid to buy Spirit Airlines, Hayes said in a statement. The US Justice Department sued to block JetBlue’s proposed $3.8 billion deal to buy Spirit in March 2023.
“We believe the DOJ has got it wrong on the law here and misses the point that this merger will create a national low-fare, high-quality competitor to the Big Four carriers which – thanks to their own DOJ-approved mergers – control about 80% of the US market,” said JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes at the time.
– CNN’s Chris Isidore contributed to this report.
™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.