Fornaro succeeds Leonard at AirTran
AirTran Airways confirmed that its long time number two executive, president Bob Fornaro, will succeed Joe Leonard at the helm of the US low-fare carrier.
Leonard ceded his chief executive title to Fornaro effective at the beginning of November, although Leonard, 64, will remain board chairman. Fornaro, 54, had over recent years been taking on more of Leonard's daily duties of managing the carrier.
Fornaro had been a route planning and network executive at Braniff and later at Northwest Airlines, and Leonard, who joined AirTran in 1999, had also worked at Northwest before become chief operating officer of Eastern. The winner of an Airline Business Strategy Award in 2007, Leonard has also been president and chief executive officer of the Allied-Signal aerospace unit.
Leonard's role in recent years has become more and more serving as AirTran's ambassador to the business community and its face before regulators and legislators. The courtly Georgia native seems a born diplomat. Internally, Leonard has been the executive who makes the final decision on alternatives proposed by others in management.
Fornaro, by contrast, is blunter and more forcefully spoken, but still as highly regarded within his airline as Leonard. A native of Long Island, Fornaro still speaks with an accent that marks those New York suburbs.
His focus in recent years has been on keeping costs under control as the carrier grew and added a second type, the Boeing 737-700, to its 717 fleet. Between 1992 and 1997, he was in charge of route planning, pricing, revenue management and strategy at US Airways.
Milton leaves Air Canada
An era ends on 1 January when Robert Milton retires as chairman and leaves the board of directors at Air Canada. As part of winding up ACE Aviation Holdings, Milton is resigning as chairman of Air Canada, its regional affiliate Jazz, Air Canada Technical Services and its loyalty programme Aeroplan. He is also resigning as a director from each of these companies.
He remains only as chairman and chief executive of ACE, where he plans to preside over the holding company's dissolution. ACE still owns 75% of Air Canada, 20.1% of Jazz, 20.1% of Aeroplan, and 23% of ACTS. ACE hopes to sell these stakes over the next six months and distribute all remaining cash to its shareholders.
Milton, 47, holds dual Canadian and US citizenship, but has recently moved to England and is commuting to his office in Montreal. He and his wife have decided to educate their children in England.
David Richardson will become Air Canada's new chairman. He currently serves on the airline's board and is also a director of Jazz Air Holding and a trustee of Aeroplan Income Fund. Richardson is the former chairman of Ernst & Young (Canada).
Montie Brewer, chief executive of Air Canada, praises Richardson for "his extensive business background and strong commitment as a corporate director". Brewer says that Richardson "has already made an invaluable contribution to the board of Air Canada".
Richard McCoy will become the new chairman of Jazz. McCoy is a trustee of the Jazz Air Income Fund and he has over 35 years experience in the investment industry. Aeroplan director Robert Brown, who is chief executive of flight simulator manufacturer CAE, will become chairman of Aeroplan.
Milton will best be remembered for three major successes - defending Air Canada from a hostile takeover, restructuring the airline in a turbulent bankruptcy, and boosting the airline's value by spinning off its subsidiary units. He was Air Canada's chief executive for three years and chairman for the past five.
More rotations at JetBlue
JetBlue Airways has seen two departures from its executive suite as the company's chief financial officer resigned and its chief revenue officer left. Chief financial officer and executive vice-president for corporate services John Harvey, who had been planning to move for several months, resigned just days after the New York JFK-based low-cost carrier reported strong third-quarter earnings. The airline said he had left "to pursue other professional interests". Trey Urbahn, JetBlue's chief revenue officer has also left.