Transport Airlines

JetBlue Responds to Rough Winter With Departure of COO

Skift Take

It was time for changes at JetBlue. Whether or not the COO was the right person to leave is the real question.

— Jason Clampet

The JetBlue chief operating officer who helped lead the airline through a rapid expansion is leaving.

JetBlue Airways Corp. said Monday that Rob Maruster’s duties would be taken over by the company president, Robin Hayes, 48.

The New York company did not give a reason for Maruster’s departure in a release. The parting was amicable, said a JetBlue spokeswoman in an email.

JetBlue shares fell dropped 2.1 percent to $7.47 in after-hours trading. They had fallen almost 4 percent during the day and are down 11 percent for the year, with the entire decline since JetBlue reported last week that its first-quarter profit fell about 71 percent, missing Wall Street expectations.

A January storm caused the airline to briefly stop flying at four airports in New York and Boston. Cancelations from that and other storms reduced revenue by $50 million and operating profit by $35 million.

Maruster, 43, joined JetBlue in 2005 as vice president of operational planning. He became chief operating officer in 2009. In a statement, CEO Dave Barger praised his leadership during the airline’s growth from 32 cities to 85.

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