JetBlue leads comms amid CEO turnover

NEW YORK: JetBlue's internal communications team handled its CEO turnover Thursday, a move that had been foreshadowed by recent problems.

NEW YORK: JetBlue's internal communications team handled its CEO turnover Thursday, a move that had been foreshadowed by recent problems.

The airline's board asked founder David Neeleman to step aside as CEO, and promoted longtime Neeleman deputy and president Dave Barger into the role.

Alison Eshelman, manager of corporate communications, said the corporate team handled all communications on the turnover, informing staff that their recently troubled airline had a new leader.

Eshelman said the press release announcing the move was distributed to all staff, and that internal management meetings were held to discuss the change and its impact. Neeleman and Barger also sent out a video message featuring both of them to all crew members.

Barger's transition into the CEO role will require less work by the communications team to establish his reputation and thought leadership, according to Eshelman, because he is already a well-known figure inside JetBlue.

"Dave has been a part of JetBlue since its inception. He helped start [it] with David nine years ago," she said. "Our crew leaders know Dave...and trust his leadership."

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