Sean Durfy resigns - no joke!


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Very good replacement, but was Durfy pushed? It looks like GS might have been brought aboard as his replacement.

Sean Durfy announces resignation from WestJet

Gregg Saretsky appointed new President and CEO

CALGARY, March 15 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced the resignation of President and CEO Sean Durfy effective April 1, 2010. Mr. Durfy will also resign from the board of directors at that time. Mr. Durfy has cited personal reasons for his departure.

"This was a very difficult decision for me; however, after careful consideration, I have decided that this is best for me and my family," said Sean Durfy. "Those things I set out to accomplish at WestJet have now been achieved and I believe this is an appropriate time to allow others to carry the torch while I spend more time with my young family."

Sean Durfy joined WestJet in 2004 as an Executive Vice-President responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's marketing, sales and airport operations functions and leading the introduction of the successful WestJet owner's communications platform. In September 2006, he was appointed President and assumed the role of CEO in September 2007. He spearheaded the company's long-term strategic growth initiatives, which led to the successful launch of WestJet Vacations and, most recently, the implementation of two new reservation systems, airline partnerships and the WestJet reward programs.

Sean Durfy commented, "I am immensely proud of all we have accomplished together. I am most proud of the fact that I leave with WestJet's renowned culture stronger than ever and that the 'little airline that could' is positioned to accomplish the vision we have put forth - to be one of the most successful international airlines in the world by 2016."

Clive Beddoe, WestJet Chairman, added, "We will miss Sean's passion and leadership at the executive and board level and we sincerely thank him for his tremendous contributions to WestJet over the past several years."

A special committee of the board undertook a process to manage the selection of a new President and CEO.

"After a search for the most suitable candidate capable of supporting our planned growth, extending our brand strength and leading our award-winning culture, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Gregg Saretsky as President and CEO of WestJet effective April 1, 2010," commented Clive Beddoe.

Gregg Saretsky joined WestJet in June 2009 as Vice-President, WestJet Vacations, before assuming the role of Executive Vice-President, Operations, in October 2009.

"As a 25-year airline industry veteran, Gregg has been a valuable member of WestJet's executive team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the President and CEO role and we are confident his background will provide the leadership and experience required to achieve our strategic plans," continued Clive Beddoe.

Gregg Saretsky began his career in the airline industry in 1985 with Canadian Airlines. While at Canadian, he held a number of operations and marketing roles, including Vice-President, Airports, and Vice-President, Passenger Marketing. Following his departure from Canadian in 1998, Gregg joined Seattle-based Alaska Airlines as Executive Vice-President, Marketing and Planning. In December 2008, he left Alaska as Executive Vice-President, Flight and Marketing. With his combined tenure as a seasoned airline executive, Gregg has extensive experience successfully operating within one of the most competitive airline markets in the world and an impressive track record on the commercial and operations sides of the business.

His many accomplishments at Alaska include establishing airline alliances; he developed one of the most effective networks of partners among U.S. airlines, which supported the airline's rapid growth and profitability. In addition, he developed new ancillary revenue streams, including an award-winning reward program. Gregg was also instrumental in the establishment of many cost-saving initiatives, making Alaska one of the most efficient airlines in North America.

"These qualifications along with his demonstrated ability to lead a guest-focused culture are ideal for charting and executing our flight path ahead," said Clive Beddoe.

"I'm absolutely delighted by this new opportunity," said Gregg Saretsky. "WestJet has been the envy of the airline industry for a number of years. As a proud Canadian, I am amazed by what this organization has achieved in its 14-year history. I am also honoured to be associated with, and leading a team of, exceptional WestJetters who have created a remarkable company culture, a renowned brand and a formidable airline. I look forward to the many opportunities we have in front of us to continue to profitably grow our airline and fulfil our vision."

Sean Durfy has agreed to remain with WestJet until September 1, 2010, and will assist the company with the transition. An executive search to replace Mr. Saretsky's Executive Vice-President, Operations, role will commence immediately.

Edited by dagger
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Very good replacement, but was Durfy pushed? It looks like GS might have been brought aboard as his replacement.

Sean Durfy announces resignation from WestJet

Gregg Saretsky appointed new President and CEO

CALGARY, March 15 /CNW/ - WestJet today announced the resignation of President and CEO Sean Durfy effective April 1, 2010. Mr. Durfy will also resign from the board of directors at that time. Mr. Durfy has cited personal reasons for his departure.

"This was a very difficult decision for me; however, after careful consideration, I have decided that this is best for me and my family," said Sean Durfy. "Those things I set out to accomplish at WestJet have now been achieved and I believe this is an appropriate time to allow others to carry the torch while I spend more time with my young family."

Sean Durfy joined WestJet in 2004 as an Executive Vice-President responsible for overseeing all aspects of the company's marketing, sales and airport operations functions and leading the introduction of the successful WestJet owner's communications platform. In September 2006, he was appointed President and assumed the role of CEO in September 2007. He spearheaded the company's long-term strategic growth initiatives, which led to the successful launch of WestJet Vacations and, most recently, the implementation of two new reservation systems, airline partnerships and the WestJet reward programs.

Sean Durfy commented, "I am immensely proud of all we have accomplished together. I am most proud of the fact that I leave with WestJet's renowned culture stronger than ever and that the 'little airline that could' is positioned to accomplish the vision we have put forth - to be one of the most successful international airlines in the world by 2016."

Clive Beddoe, WestJet Chairman, added, "We will miss Sean's passion and leadership at the executive and board level and we sincerely thank him for his tremendous contributions to WestJet over the past several years."

A special committee of the board undertook a process to manage the selection of a new President and CEO.

"After a search for the most suitable candidate capable of supporting our planned growth, extending our brand strength and leading our award-winning culture, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Gregg Saretsky as President and CEO of WestJet effective April 1, 2010," commented Clive Beddoe.

Gregg Saretsky joined WestJet in June 2009 as Vice-President, WestJet Vacations, before assuming the role of Executive Vice-President, Operations, in October 2009.

"As a 25-year airline industry veteran, Gregg has been a valuable member of WestJet's executive team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the President and CEO role and we are confident his background will provide the leadership and experience required to achieve our strategic plans," continued Clive Beddoe.

Gregg Saretsky began his career in the airline industry in 1985 with Canadian Airlines. While at Canadian, he held a number of operations and marketing roles, including Vice-President, Airports, and Vice-President, Passenger Marketing. Following his departure from Canadian in 1998, Gregg joined Seattle-based Alaska Airlines as Executive Vice-President, Marketing and Planning. In December 2008, he left Alaska as Executive Vice-President, Flight and Marketing. With his combined tenure as a seasoned airline executive, Gregg has extensive experience successfully operating within one of the most competitive airline markets in the world and an impressive track record on the commercial and operations sides of the business.

His many accomplishments at Alaska include establishing airline alliances; he developed one of the most effective networks of partners among U.S. airlines, which supported the airline's rapid growth and profitability. In addition, he developed new ancillary revenue streams, including an award-winning reward program. Gregg was also instrumental in the establishment of many cost-saving initiatives, making Alaska one of the most efficient airlines in North America.

"These qualifications along with his demonstrated ability to lead a guest-focused culture are ideal for charting and executing our flight path ahead," said Clive Beddoe.

"I'm absolutely delighted by this new opportunity," said Gregg Saretsky. "WestJet has been the envy of the airline industry for a number of years. As a proud Canadian, I am amazed by what this organization has achieved in its 14-year history. I am also honoured to be associated with, and leading a team of, exceptional WestJetters who have created a remarkable company culture, a renowned brand and a formidable airline. I look forward to the many opportunities we have in front of us to continue to profitably grow our airline and fulfil our vision."

Sean Durfy has agreed to remain with WestJet until September 1, 2010, and will assist the company with the transition. An executive search to replace Mr. Saretsky's Executive Vice-President, Operations, role will commence immediately.

I called this 5 months ago on this forum. I think Gregg was hired specifically to take the reigns and I'm guessing they're at the point that they're comfortable having him do so.

I also do believe that Sean is moving aside for family reasons.

Edited by SERTE
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I called this 5 months ago on this forum. I think Gregg was hired specifically to take the reigns and I'm guessing they're at the point that they're comfortable having him do so.

I also do believe that Sean is moving aside for family reasons.

If he was leaving for another job or had been pushed out, why would he then agree to stay on until September?

If it truly is for personal reasons than I wish him and his family all the best.

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Did anyone actually walk the plank for the res computer phase-in fiasco?

I don't mean low level guys, I mean people who had major decision making responsibility for this.

All things considered the res cutover was relatively smooth, and all the issues were fixed asap. There is no need for anyone to walk the plank.

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Not that I'm aware of.

From the internal emails and personal note from Sean to us it seems like a very amicable departure with him staying on until September to help Gregg with the transition. It was nice to have a note from Clive too.

Sean was a great guy and I always appreciated his approachability.

No confidence lost with me.

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Greg is a very smart airline man. I always liked working with him. No one knows how they will make out in the top job but he is certainly more than qualified. There are always those that say, "well it should have been this person or that person". I am sure that there may be people disappointed but, imo, you won't find a fairer person that Greg.

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Did anyone actually walk the plank for the res computer phase-in fiasco?

I don't mean low level guys, I mean people who had major decision making responsibility for this.

Rumor that a promotion may have been denied over it and we did have a VP recently resign with 2 days notice who some feel may have contributed.

Not so much on the decision level but the high level execution level.

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"You're screwed brother"

LOL

I was waiting for that.

chockalicious

Feel free to share.

Rumor that a promotion may have been denied over it and we did have a VP recently resign with 2 days notice who some feel may have contributed.

Not so much on the decision level but the high level execution level.

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"You're screwed brother"

It's ironic, but he was talking about advanced communications thingees like... well...res systems...Grin-Nod.gif

Anyways, the media has played this like a major shakeup. Gregg is a great aviation guy, and my reading is less of a shakeup and more of a deliver-the-goods-on-time move so the alliiances and other key projects aren't deferred any more.

Let's see how he handles the culture thing, or will he fail to grasp it like Steve Smith?

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Just my two bits worth. This is just another very smart move on WJ's part to again make a major jump forward. Now a well established carrier with greater things to accomplish. G.S. is a well established leader,as many of us on here have watched his career for many years. I see bigger aircraft and a J cabin as well as a Oneworld partner. How about feeder aircraft as well???? Hey Beaner!!!

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Just my two bits worth. This is just another very smart move on WJ's part to again make a major jump forward. Now a well established carrier with greater things to accomplish. G.S. is a well established leader,as many of us on here have watched his career for many years. I see bigger aircraft and a J cabin as well as a Oneworld partner. How about feeder aircraft as well???? Hey Beaner!!!

I don't think WestJet's strategic vision is going to change with the appointment of one person. If Gregg is as smart as people are suggesting, he knows how important it is to stick to what we are and where we want to be. I hope Gregg adds another piece to a strong Company, much like Dr Dunleavy did for WestJet when he joined the Company.

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Just my two bits worth. This is just another very smart move on WJ's part to again make a major jump forward. Now a well established carrier with greater things to accomplish. G.S. is a well established leader,as many of us on here have watched his career for many years. I see bigger aircraft and a J cabin as well as a Oneworld partner. How about feeder aircraft as well???? Hey Beaner!!!

I don't see this happening. Apparently Gregg is a little more cautious than Durfy and is a fan of the conservative approach.

Joining Oneworld does not make sense when WS can pick from a variety of carriers to form partnerships with. I am not sure how much sense J cabin works for WS either.

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I think it's also true that Saretsky has to deliver for shareholders more than ever. The stock price languishes even amid recovery. He needs to execute the current plan well, like the alliance strategy, before he embarks on the kind of adventurism that could scare off rather than placate investors.

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I think it's also true that Saretsky has to deliver for shareholders more than ever. The stock price languishes even amid recovery. He needs to execute the current plan well, like the alliance strategy, before he embarks on the kind of adventurism that could scare off rather than placate investors.

6 months ago when the stock was in the mid $9 range, you said the stock was languishing.

Today it's at $13.49. A 40% increase in share price in 6 months is hardly the defintion of languishing.

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Guest rozar s'macco

Durf and Saretsky were both interviewed on BNN today (seperately). From the peanut gallery, it looks like a plug and play swap. Neither had much to say other than Dilbert-esque platitudes about "execution" and "direction" and "culture" from the Sidney Crosby PR school of mad libs. Move along...

On another note, to comply with the WJ people manual (section 1.23 (a)) whereas, all senior executives shall be referred to by nickname only, I hereby kick off the "Nickname the New CEO" contest with the following submissions:

G-Unit

Super-G

Triple-G

G-Spot

Greggski

Edited by rozar s'macco
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