Merely months after it drastically broadened its business to include branded operations, Republic has lost a key expert in execution of that strategy.
Republic today said Sean Menke has resigned as its chief marketing officer. It’s not a huge shock since in a matter of weeks Menke transitioned from CEO of Frontier Airlines to head of marketing at Republic.
Republic closed on its purchase of Frontier after it emerged from Chapter 11 last year, and also acquired Midwest Airlines in an attempt to diversify as opportunities for its main business — serving as a regional operator for US major airlines — continue to evaporate.
Menke’s departure is a big loss for Republic. With his exit Republic loses someone who at Air Canada was key in launching a la carte pricing and subscription fares, which allowed customers to pay for an unlimited number of flights for three- to-six months.
Menke was also key in helping to launch Frontier’s wildy successful “A whole different animal campaign.”
It’s a tough time for Menke to leave. Republic’s executive management admits it has little experience in running branded, independent operations, and they’re working feverishly to integrate Frontier and Midwest. Republic executives recently admitted they’ve “dismantled everything that was Midwest”, except for the cookies.
Menke’s efforts in navigating Frontier through Chapter 11 won him accolades from the local paper in Frontier’s Denver base. He’s been honored as the Business Person of the Year at The Denver Post.
Airline Business also had a chance to talk with Menke shortly after he was tasked to intertwine the strategies of Frontier and Midwest.