Friday, May 11, 2007

David Neelman Stepping Down From jetBlue

As a jetBlue stockholder, I was invited to the meeting where this occured, but I didn't go.

So, today, I turned the page in the business section of the Journal News, and found out that David Neelman, the founder and CEO who made jetBlue what it is today, is stepping down. He cites his inability and unwillingness to manage day to day operations as holding the company back, and he states that he's going to let the real operational experts take over.

He will be replaced by jetBlue's current president, Dave Barger, who has been with the company since the begining as well.

Neelman doesn't cite the Valentines Day meltdown as his reason for leaving, rather it being a natural evolution of the companies leadership.

I feel it's going to be a hard transition, especially since David Neelman and his beliefs were so intertwined with jetBlue. His leadership and values infected the comppany, and made it what is is. I'm sure Dave Barger will do a great job, but David Neelman's departure is shocking and he will be missed. Hopefully, the company will continue to suceed on it's own, despite the Delta takeover rumors.

For more on Neelman's involvment with jetBlue and a look behind the scenes at the company, I highly reccomend reading "Blue Streak: Inside jetBlue, the Upstart that Rocked an Industry"By Barabra Peterson (Author)

By the way, David Neelman also kept a blog: