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Neeleman calls it quits

rayford steele

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JetBlue Announces David Neeleman Will Not be Standing for Re-Election to Its Board of Directors
Wednesday April 9, 5:30 pm ET
Award-Winning Airline Founder to Focus On New Brazilian Airline Venture
NEW YORK, April 9, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- JetBlue Airways Corporation (NasdaqGS:JBLU - News) today announces that David Neeleman, Founder of JetBlue Airways and Chairman of the Board of Directors, will not be standing for re-election at its 2008 Annual Shareholders meeting, to be held May 15, 2008.
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Mr. Neeleman recently announced plans to start a new airline based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and will be devoting his full attention to this new venture.
``It has been a tremendous honor for me to see JetBlue become a true success story,'' said David Neeleman. ``I set out to bring humanity back to air travel, and we did just that by having the most talented crewmembers in the industry serving our customers. I want to thank JetBlue crewmembers for making the last ten years great ones. My decision not to stand for re-election will allow me to focus my attention on my new Brazilian venture.''
``I want to join all crew and board members in thanking David for his vision and inspired leadership of JetBlue,'' said Joel Peterson, Vice-Chairman of JetBlue's Board of Directors. ``His dream of building a great airline in the United States has clearly come to fruition, and we all look forward to seeing him realize another successful airline start-up in Brazil.''
In 1998, Mr. Neeleman founded JetBlue with $130 million, the highest funded start-up airline of its day. Under Mr. Neeleman's leadership as JetBlue's first CEO, the low-cost airline grew from its first flight on February 11, 2000 to its current position of serving 53 destinations in seven countries with revenues of more than $3 billion.
New York-based JetBlue Airways has created a new airline category based on value, service and style. Known for its award-winning service and free TV as much as its low fares, JetBlue is now pleased to offer customers Lots of Legroom and super-spacious Even More Legroom seats. JetBlue introduced complimentary in-flight e-mail and instant messaging services on aircraft ``BetaBlue,'' a first among U.S. domestic airlines. JetBlue is also America's first and only airline to offer its own Customer Bill of Rights, with meaningful and specific compensation for customers inconvenienced by service disruptions within JetBlue's control. Visit http://www.jetblue.com/promise for details. JetBlue serves 53 cities with 550 daily flights. New service to Los Angeles International Airport begins in May. With JetBlue, all seats are assigned, all travel is ticketless, all fares are one-way, and an overnight stay is never required. For information or reservations, call 1-800-JETBLUE (1-800-538-2583) or visit http://www.jetblue.com.
The JetBlue logo is available at http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=795
DIRECTV(r) service is not available on flights outside the continental United States; however, where applicable FOX InFlight(tm) is offered complementary on these routes.
This press release contains statements of a forward-looking nature which represent our management's beliefs and assumptions concerning future events. Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and are based on information currently available to us. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements due to many factors, including, without limitation, our extremely competitive industry; increases in fuel prices, maintenance costs and interest rates; our ability to implement our growth strategy, including the ability to operate reliably the EMBRAER 190 aircraft; our significant fixed obligations; our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel and maintain our culture as we grow; our reliance on high daily aircraft utilization; our dependence on the New York metropolitan market and the effect of increased congestion in this market; our reliance on automated systems and technology; our being subject to potential unionization; our reliance on a limited number of suppliers; changes in or additional government regulation; changes in our industry due to other airlines' financial condition; and external geopolitical events and conditions. Further information concerning these and other factors is contained in the Company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including but not limited to, the Company's 2007 Annual Report on Form 10-K. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that may arise after the date of this release.


Contact:
JetBlue Airways Corporation Corporate Communications (718) 709-3089 CorporateCommunications@jetblue.com Reservations (800) JETBLUE (538-2583) www.jetblue.com/?source=prSource: JetBlue Airways Corporation
 

ACL65PILOT

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Guess we will put Jet Blue on the Ch 11 watch list as well.
 

zkmayo

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Guess we will put Jet Blue on the Ch 11 watch list as well.


Every airline could be put on that list right now.

DN's departure is to no one's surprise at JB. Esp since he announced his Brazilian venture last month. In fact, I thought he was already gone.
 

rayford steele

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Guess we will put Jet Blue on the Ch 11 watch list as well.

Is that like double secret probation or your own personal wish list? Good luck to you too...pal.
 

eaglefly

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Guess we will put Jet Blue on the Ch 11 watch list as well.

Yep.

The dreamer leaves when is dream is no longer real.

With the cost of fuel, those JFK 1 hour taxis and hienous delays have got to be killing them.
 

Longhorn

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Every airline could be put on that list right now.

DN's departure is to no one's surprise at JB. Esp since he announced his Brazilian venture last month. In fact, I thought he was already gone.

Exactly...many of us here thought he was already gone since announcing his brazilian startup airline a few weeks ago. His leaving the company has nothing to do with the state of the company, it has to do with him heading up another airline and not having time to do both.
 

Thunderchief

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C'mon, we kinda knew this was coming... Right?

2 questions.
1. Is any of the Luftansa money going towards this Brazil venture?
2. How much $$$ did it cost the company for DN to 'walk away'??
 

ACL65PILOT

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Dream no. My comment was in jest based only on the fact that a few other top guys left a few other carriers only hours and days before their demise.
 

B6Busdriver

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C'mon, we kinda knew this was coming... Right?

2 questions.
1. Is any of the Luftansa money going towards this Brazil venture?
2. How much $$$ did it cost the company for DN to 'walk away'??

1 I would say zero since it wasn't his to spend.

2 He hasn't sone jack since he was shown the door last year. Him being the Non-executive chairman of the borad was probably a way for him to save face.
 

Hovernut

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Brazil=Cheap Fuel!!

They run a lot of stuff on sugar ethanol, which curiously is slapped with confiscatory tariffs for import here. Plus, didn't they just find an enormous off-shore oil field, too?
 

Checknsix

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Yep...no surprises to anyone at JB here.

This has nothing to do with the finances of the company and everything to do with his startup of his new Brazilian airline...which has been in the papers for quite some time now.

Move along...nothing to see here.
 

zkmayo

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C'mon, we kinda knew this was coming... Right?

2 questions.
1. Is any of the Luftansa money going towards this Brazil venture?
2. How much $$$ did it cost the company for DN to 'walk away'??

2 answers:

1. None. LH and JB are completely separate from Neeleman and his Brazilian op. They have absolutely no part of the other. The only common thread is Neeleman.

2. He already cost the co alot last Feb, with all due respect. I dont know the amount he might have been paid. In the past he always donated his salary to a crisis fund for employees. Only about a year ago did he start to sell his stock in JB and disinvest himself from it. Can prob look in some 8Ks over the next quarter and find out if any payment was made for him to leave now, but my gut tells me none.
 

BLUE BAYOU

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He was up for election on the Board of Directors in May and simply declined to run to persue another of his dreams... That is it.
 

Skaff

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It's not Lufthunsa money, it's SkyWest money. Skywest is funding the Brasil operation.
 

Bavarian Chef

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Dream no. My comment was in jest based only on the fact that a few other top guys left a few other carriers only hours and days before their demise.

Don't compare Bill "Profits Ain't My Bag Baby" Differndorker (FMS-Speed?) to David "Nacho Frijoles" Neeleman.

Neeleman turned 10 million dollars into 150 million. Diffendoppler turned 150 million into 10 million.

Oh, and Neeleman left a year ago.
 

IronCityBlue

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Yeah oftentimes when a exec leaves we call it "rats abandoning a sinking ship" but in this case I really think DN is going to Brazil to pour himself 100% into his new airline down there. Our order/options of 200 of those things, totally unprooven, was a "bet the company" decision, and many speculate he was influenced by his ties to his native country in placing that order and convincing the BOD to buy off on it.

He clearly believes in Brazil and wants to do something there. He started JB and made some great decisions along the way (TV's at every seat and basing out of JFK when everyone told him it couldn't/shouldn't be done) and yes he made some mistakes. One particular one (not cancelling anything during severe weather) cost 40 something million.

But like Suzy Orman says (yeah, I know) "you wouldn't have that money to lose if you hadn't made it in the first place." He's a smart guy and a good man at heart, though he never completely respected or empathized with most pilots. But he's a smart guy with ADD (literally) and he really can't start up one airline while trying to run another one.

He's both an idea man as well as very hands on, to the point that it exceeds his capabilities. That's great for an airline's formation stage, but not so good once its larger and established. I predict he will do a good job with his Brazilian airline. And I think this time he will know when to transfer the controls.
 

jetflier

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Probably not, but at least when he pulls on rubber gloves, its not to give us a rectal like Steenland has given you.


Ugheem !!

Your pilot group began as a rectal to the entire industry. When A320 Capt's were pulling down $221/hour Jet-Blo came up with $140/hour for you. Very similar to the now defunct "Skybus" except the bar has been lowered even further with them.

Just goes to show that its not payroll expense that makes or breaks airlines.
 
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