David Barger after an October 2010 presentation in Ann Arbor, Michigan
|Born||David J. Barger
1958 (age 55–56)
|Alma mater||University of Michigan|
|Occupation||President and CEO of JetBlue|
US$888,455 other compensation (2009)
Dave Barger's interest in airlines came from his father, who was a United Airlines pilot for 37 years. From 1982 to 1988, Barger served in a number of positions with New York Air, such as the Director of Stations. In 1992 he joined with Continental Airlines and held various management positions including Vice President of Continental's Newark Liberty International Airport hub.
Barger was part of the JetBlue Airways founding team in 1998, and served as the Chief Operating Officer for Jet Blue until March 2007. During the airline's first months of operation, when a JetBlue plane was forced to divert en route so that a diabetic passenger could receive emergency care, Barger reportedly personally apologized to each passenger for the delay, and offered a free flight as compensation. Following a February 2007 incident in which the airline was forced to cancel nearly 1,700 flights due to winter storms, JetBlue's board of directors replaced Chief Executive Officer David Neeleman. Barger, then 49, became JetBlue's new Chief Executive Officer on May 10, 2007. Neeleman, the company's largest individual investor, became a nonexecutive chairman as a result of the change. On June 1, 2009, Barger became the president of JetBlue.
Barger is on both the executive committee and the board of governors of the Flight Safety Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to the field of air safety. In 2007, Barger gave $4.5 million USD to the Barger Leadership Institute in the Organizational Studies Program in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan.
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