Sorry Doesn't Cut It: JetBlue CEO Replaced Effective Immediately

Founder of JetBlue David “Mortified” Neeleman is no longer the CEO of his company, effective immediately. He’ll continue on as “non-executive chairman,” and play a “more strategic role.” Whatever that means.

The move comes after an embarrassing service meltdown that on Valentine’s Day that exposed JetBlue’s inability to cope with weather disruptions. A flood of negative PR followed, leading David to publicly apologize for the incident approximately 800 times. We guess it wasn’t enough. More recently, several JetBlue employees have been charged with credit card fraud. The employees (including Customer Service representatives) stole credit card numbers of JetBlue customers and went on a “spending spree” that included trips to Victoria’s Secret.

David will be replaced by Dave “Sorry Doesn’t Cut It” Barger, 49.

“The board suggested to David that he could best serve the company in a more strategic role. David agreed,” JetBlue spokeswoman Jenny Dervin said. “The conversation was initiated by the board.” —MEGHANN MARCO

JetBlue CEO pushed out [CNNMoney]

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  1. mikyrok says:

    Jet Blue’s stock is up 5.3% on the day

  2. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    Smart on Jet Blue’s end to keep a guy in there with the same name. Now they dont have to change all the nameplates..

  3. NeoteriX says:

    This is unfortunate.

  4. gwong says:

    Well, someone had to take the fall for all that’s happened, right?

  5. dohtem says:

    Ashton Kutcher: David Neeleman, you just got punk’d!!!

  6. belch says:

    This is actually quite a shocker to me. (But who am I right?)

  7. facted says:

    I am a bit shocked as well. Say what you want about Mr. Neelman, but he is the heart and soul of JetBlue. He built it up himself from nothing and he introduced a lot of new ideas into air travel that companies are still struggling to match (LiveTV anyone?) Sounds like he’ll still have some general input which is a good thing, but maybe someone will take over the day-to-day planning and airline management things. Alas.

  8. Wormfather says:

    The dude taking over, Dave Barger, former Continental exec. Need I say more?