US budget carrier JetBlue Airways is to expand its board and appoint two directors nominated by entrepreneur Carl Icahn, following his acquisition of a near-10% share in the airline.

JetBlue will increase the board from 11 to 13 members, creating two vacant positions which will accommodate the Icahn designees.

The carrier identifies the designees as Jesse Lynn and Steven Miller. Both will take up positions as observers to the board from 26 February.

Expansion of the board will take place after JetBlue’s annual meeting which is normally held in May. The airline says 12 of the 13 directors are “expected to be independent”.

“We appreciate the constructive engagement we have had with JetBlue’s board and leadership team,” says Carl Icahn. “We very much look forward to working with them in the future.”

Jesse Lynn Steven Miller-Icahn-c-Conduent

Source: Conduent

Icahn nominees Jesse Lynn (left) and Steven Miller (right) will join an expanded JetBlue board

Lynn has served as general counsel of Icahn Enterprises for the past decade, while Miller is a portfolio manager at subsidiary Icahn Capital, a company he joined in 2020.

JetBlue chair Peter Boneparth states: “With their experience on public company boards, often when navigating key inflection points, [Lynn and Miller] will add useful insights as we set JetBlue on a path back to long-term sustainable growth and shareholder value creation.”

Entities linked with Icahn took a collective 9.91% shareholding in JetBlue earlier this year, and the carrier had indicated that negotiations for board representation were taking place.

Under the representation agreement, the Icahn entities must continue to hold at least 20.35 million shares in the airline’s stock to maintain two board seats, and at least 10.17 million shares to keep any seat.