|David G. Neeleman|
October 16, 1959 |
São Paulo, Brazil
|Occupation||CEO Azul Brazilian Airlines|
|Known for||Commercial airline entrepreneur|
|Religion||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)|
Neeleman was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and raised in the United States, to a family of Dutch and North American descent. He lived in Brazil until he was five. He attended Brighton High School in Cottonwood Heights, Utah, and attended the University of Utah for three years before dropping out. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Northeast Region, Brazil.
He co-founded (with June Morris) Morris Air, a low-fare charter airline, and from 1984 to 1988, he was executive vice president of the company. In 1988 Neeleman assumed the helm of Morris Air as its president. Then when Morris Air was acquired by Southwest Airlines for $20 million in 1993, he worked for a short time on their Executive Planning Committee. 
After leaving Southwest, Neeleman became the CEO of Open Skies, a touch screen airline reservation and check-in systems company, later acquired by HP in 1999. At the same time, he helped with another upstart airline, WestJet. JetBlue was incorporated in Delaware in August 1998 and officially founded in February 1999, under the name "NewAir." by Neeleman.
As the CEO of JetBlue Airways, his 2002 salary was $200,000 with a bonus of $90,000. Neeleman donated his entire salary to the JetBlue Crewmember Crisis Fund, which was established for JetBlue employees who had fallen on hard times.
He speaks fluent Portuguese and holds both U.S. and Brazilian citizenship.
In the early years of JetBlue, founder David Neeleman said he always sat in the last row (row 27) of each Airbus A320 aircraft when flying on his company's airplanes, to demonstrate that pleasing the customer is more important than pleasing the CEO (at the time, seats in the 27th row – since removed from JetBlue's A320 airplanes – did not recline).
- Sellers, Patricia (July 26, 2010). "The Next JetBlue: What's David Neeleman Doing Starting a New Airline in Brazil? Setting Records, For One Thing". Fortune 162 (2): 97–100. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- Home Sourcing the Blue Way
- http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/history2/38/JetBlue-Airways-Corporation.html "JetBlue"
- http://jetblue.com/about/ourcompany/history/about_ourhistory.html "JetBlue"
- Wade, James B.; O'Reilly III, Charles A.; Pollock, Timothy G. (September–October 2006). "Overpaid CEOs and Underpaid Managers: Fairness and Executive Compensation". Organization Science 17 (5): 527. doi:10.1287/orsc.1060.0204. ISSN 1047-70-39.
- JetBlue Air Names Barger to Succeed Neeleman as Chief
- Shwiff, Kathy (May 21, 2008). "JetBlue Solidifies Succession Plan". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2008-05-22.
- "TBR Board of Directors: David Neeleman, Chief Executive Officer, jetBlue Airways". Travel Business Roundtable. Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2007-05-07.
- Integris-Health.com, Integris Health Essentials
- "Tony Jannus Award past recipients". Tony Jannus Society. Retrieved 2008-03-29.[dead link]
- David Neeleman and the Story of JetBlue: A Fresh Take on Flying | Your America | Reader's Digest[dead link]
- David Neeleman's profile at Azul's official site (Portuguese)
- Speaking at Stanford
- Forbes Person
- Brazil's Top 50 Businesspeople Latinvex, Feb. 25, 2013
- David Neeleman Interview
- Q&A with Inc. Magazine