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Diffenderffer bows out of CEO role at Skybus

Skybus Airlines CEO Bill Diffenderffer has stepped down, effective immediately.

CFO of the Columbus, Ohio-based low fare carrier Mike Hodge is replacing Diffenderffer as CEO.

Diffenderffer informed the Skybus board of directors he plans to return to the book-writing career he left in 2005 when he joined the startup airline as chief executive.

Hodge, a graduate of Princeton University and the Harvard Business School, will serve alongside Skybus president and chief operating officer Ken Gile. He joined Skybus in March 2007, after serving as a managing director and airline analyst at Tiger Management, the New York-based hedge fund that was part of the startup equity funding of Skybus.

The airline has reworked its route system dramatically since its May 2007 launch as fuel costs have risen, and has eliminated a number of its long-haul flights.

Skybus filed information with the US DOT showing a $16.1 million loss for the third quarter of 2007. The airline’s cash balances were $75 million.

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