After three months of having the job on an interim basis, airline industry veteran Ursula Hurley has been appointed CFO of JetBlue Airways.
Hurley has been the low-cost carrier’s acting finance chief since June when Steve Priest left JetBlue to become CFO of eBay. She was previously JetBlue’s treasurer, responsible for managing its $13 billion balance sheet.
As CFO, Hurley will be responsible for JetBlue’s overall financial strategy including accounting, audit, aircraft and engine transactions, cash management, corporate finance, fuel, and tax.
“Ursula has done an incredible job leading us through the pandemic,” CEO Robin Hayes said in a news release. “With a steady hand, she’s raised capital to allow us to weather the challenges and proven to be focused on helping us manage our cost structure. As we emerge from the pandemic, her continued leadership in managing costs will be fundamental to her role.”
In its most recent quarter, JetBlue’s revenue grew to $1.5 billion from $215 million a year earlier, as travel demand amid the coronavirus pandemic improved. Its share price, however, has fallen about 25% since April.
“The company is focused on strengthening its balance sheet and expanding margins in the coming years,” according to Forbes.
Hurley, who has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Fairfield University and an MBA from Columbia University, has spent her entire career at JetBlue, joining the company as an analyst in 2004.
“Her move from treasurer to CFO isn’t particularly common,” The Wall Street Journal said, noting that only about 8.6% of CFOs at companies in the S&P 500 or Fortune 500 were previously treasurer.
“I’m so excited to continue to work closely with both the senior leadership team and our incredible finance team to support JetBlue’s recovery,” Hurley said. “Together we’re committed to rebuilding margins, maintaining our focus on costs, and repairing our balance sheet to help us continue to thrive.”