UPDATE: May 17, 2021: Steve Priest will be moving into the CFO role at online marketplace eBay, the company announced via press release late Monday afternoon. His first day will be June 21, 2021. "I am proud to be joining the pioneer of ecommerce," Priest said in a statement. "I look forward to helping the company pursue its goal of becoming the best global ecommerce marketplace for buyers and sellers."
JetBlue Airlines today announced CFO Steve Priest will be departing on June 11, 2021 for a new opportunity. Treasury and investor relations head Ursula Hurley has been named acting CFO, effective June 12, alongside her current duties.
Priest joined JetBlue as VP of Structural Programs in 2015, and has been finance chief since 2017. Prior to JetBlue, he spent nearly 15 years in strategic leadership at British Airways.
Hurley joined JetBlue in 2004 as FP&A manager, and has served in a variety of leadership roles since, including corporate finance manager and VP of Structural Programs.
"Steve has been instrumental in helping lead JetBlue through the pandemic, and he leaves JetBlue in a place where the company is well positioned to continue our recovery and to emerge stronger than before," JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement.
Prior to the pandemic, Priest led a successful company-wide effort to reset its cost structure, Hayes added, which has set JetBlue up to emerge from the pandemic better off than its competitors. The carrier focuses most of its business in the northeast, which was hit hard by the coronavirus last spring, and in its most recent quarter, reported $670 million in passenger revenues, a 55.7% year-over-year drop.
Hurley has worked directly with Priest leading cross-functional efforts like fleet evolution, the structural cost program and strategic sourcing initiatives, Hayes said.
“Over the past year, [Hurley] 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 towards industry-leading margins,” Hayes added.
"It has been a privilege to work alongside such an exceptional and passionate team for the past six years, and the decision to leave was one of the most difficult I have ever made," Priest said in a statement. "I could not be prouder of our finance team [...] who pulled together to deliver a cost-conscious culture while maintaining our strong and trusted brand. Ursula has been central to these efforts, and I am confident in her ability to support JetBlue as the airline emerges from the pandemic and regains momentum."
Representatives for Priest and for the airline did not immediately respond to requests for comment.