JetBlue Airways (NASDAQ:JBLU) said on Monday that CFO Steve Priest would be leaving the company, with the airline naming current head of treasury and investor relations Ursula Hurley as acting CFO.
Priest will leave effective June 11 to “pursue a new opportunity,” according to JetBlue. He has been CFO since February 2017, joining the company in 2015 after a nearly 15-year career at British Airways.
He is leaving after a turbulent year for JetBlue and the entire airline industry. The carrier was forced to cut costs and seek additional funds to navigate the pandemic, and as travel returns, it will need to manage its balance sheet carefully. Prior to the pandemic, Priest was credited with a push by the company to reset its cost structure to allow it to better compete against a new wave of discount competition.
CEO Robin Hayes issued a statement calling Priest “instrumental in helping lead JetBlue through the pandemic,” and said Hurley should slot in well.
“Her work helped position JetBlue with one of the industry’s strongest balance sheets going into the pandemic,” Hayes said. “Over the past year, she successfully led our efforts to preserve our liquidity position, and is the perfect leader to support this transition as we begin to repair our balance sheet and return on a path toward industry-leading margins.”
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