JetBlue announced that its longtime CEO, Robin Hayes, will retire, citing health reasons, effective February 12. He will be succeeded by the airline’s president, Joanna Geraghty, who will become the first woman to lead a major U.S. airline. Hayes, who has been with JetBlue since 2008 and served as CEO since early 2015, played a significant role in expanding and growing the airline. He led initiatives such as the development and expansion of the airline’s Mint business-class product and the launch of its first routes to Europe. Hayes also pursued partnerships and acquisitions, including an attempted purchase of Virgin America in 2016.
During his tenure, JetBlue faced challenges, including the dismantling of its Northeast Alliance partnership with American Airlines in 2023 after a judge ruled it was anti-competitive. The airline is also awaiting a decision in an antitrust trial regarding its planned acquisition of Spirit Airlines.
Joanna Geraghty, who has been with JetBlue for nearly 20 years and currently serves as president, will take over as CEO. She has actively participated in the airline’s day-to-day operations and strategic planning, making her a familiar face representing JetBlue. The transition comes at a critical juncture for the airline, with ongoing legal challenges and strategic decisions ahead.