NEW YORK: New York-based JetBlue airline today announced several appointments to its leadership team, effective immediately. The changes place top talent in key positions as the company works to drive sustained shareholder value and deliver on its structural cost initiative while keeping people and culture at the center of its unique model.
Warren Christie has been appointed senior vice president, safety, security and air operations, adding flight operations to his responsibilities. A pilot himself, Christie has significant flight experience, from his first role at JetBlue as instructor pilot through to his most recent role, which included overseeing the airline’s training facility, JetBlue University. Christie has almost 30 years of aviation experience having served as a naval aviator before joining JetBlue in 2003. Christie most recently served as senior vice president, safety, security and training. He continues to report to Jeff Martin, JetBlue’s executive vice president, operations.
Glenn Cusano has been appointed senior vice president, finance and treasury, reporting to Steve Priest, chief financial officer. In this new role, Cusano is responsible for treasury and fuel, financial planning and analysis, structural programs, and risk management functions. During his time at JetBlue, Cusano has held senior leadership positions in finance and in commercial and planning.
A certified public accountant (CPA), Cusano joined JetBlue in 2003 and held several finance positions with increasing responsibility, including vice president roles for audit and for financial planning and analysis. In 2014, Cusano moved to the commercial and planning team to take on his most recent role, vice president, operational planning and analysis. In his new position, Cusano will be central to helping the airline achieve its structural cost targets.
Ian Deason has been appointed senior vice president, airports experience, expanding his responsibilities on the senior leadership team. Leading the operations for the airline’s largest workgroup, Deason is responsible for delivering JetBlue’s innovative customer experience in the airport environment and furthering its on-time performance program. He will also work closely with the leadership team to significantly improve efficiencies as part of the airline’s structural cost plans. He joined JetBlue in 2006 and has held several commercial and operational roles. Deason most recently served as vice president, airports experience where he grew the airport footprint to 100 cities while achieving industry-leading safety performance. He continues to report to Joanna Geraghty, JetBlue’s executive vice president, customer experience.
Marc Esposito has been appointed vice president, crew and values relations taking on an expanded role that brings together two areas focused on engaging with the airline’s 20,000-plus crewmembers. Esposito joined JetBlue in 2014 in his most recent role of vice president, values relations and will maintain responsibility for labor and values relations strategy in his new role. He continues to report to Mike Elliott, JetBlue’s executive vice president, people.
Tracy Lawlor has been appointed vice president, strategy and business development, reporting to Robin Hayes, JetBlue’s president and chief executive officer. In this new role, Lawlor leads the airline-wide, long-term business planning process that will position JetBlue to achieve its financial, operational, customer and culture goals. Additionally, she is responsible for driving enhanced earnings by extending and building on the strong JetBlue brand with several strategic development initiatives. Lawlor joined JetBlue in 2001 and has held a number of financial roles, including her most recent position as vice president, financial planning and analysis.
Rachel McCarthy has been appointed senior vice president, talent and learning,adding responsibility for JetBlue University to her portfolio. McCarthy’s experience in her talent role, and previously in operations as vice president, inflight experience, will help JetBlue maintain its industry-leading training center as well as build on its hospitality training program for all customer-facing workgroups. McCarthy joined JetBlue in 2009 and has held commercial, corporate and operational roles, including her most recent position as vice president, talent. She continues to report to Mike Elliott.
Mike Parkinson has been appointed vice president, airports focus cities. In this new role, Parkinson oversees the airport operations in JetBlue’s focus cities. He is an airline industry veteran with 37 years of airport operational experience with Northwest Airlines and JetBlue. Shortly after joining JetBlue in 2003, Parkinson opened the New York-LaGuardia and Newark stations. He has held several operational roles since then, including his most recent position as director, JFK airports operations. Parkinson continues to report to Ian Deason.
Lisa Reifer has been appointed vice president, infrastructure, properties and development, reporting to Steve Priest. In this role, she is responsible for managing all of JetBlue’s real estate assets, including long-term airport planning and development, design and construction, and facilities planning. Reifer joined JetBlue in 2004 as corporate real estate counsel and has held leadership positions in airports affairs and finance. She has served in her most recent role as director, commercial development and strategy since 2014.
Robin Hayes said, “As JetBlue pursues its exciting growth story, it’s the right time to evolve our leadership team while continuing to nurture a strong group of leaders. Investing in our people is core to our plans, and we are lucky to have such depth of talent. Our entire leadership team knows the important balance between maintaining the unique JetBlue culture with delivering strong financial results. Improving our cost performance so we can deliver top-tier margins for our shareholders over the coming years is imperative for our continued success.
“Equally, our crewmembers are what set our airline apart, and ensuring we continue to have passionate leaders who inspire our team of 20,000-plus amazing crewmembers is crucial to delivering our special JetBlue experience.”