Risk Management

Interim CFO of Mesa Air Quits

The company's previous finance chief had been fired after a court found he had destroyed documents pertaining to a lawsuit against the carrier file...
David KatzJune 6, 2008

The struggling Mesa Air Group announced on Friday that it has accepted the resignation of its interim CFO, William Hoke, seven months after he replaced the company’s previous finance chief.

Hoke, who became interim CFO in November 2007, resigned on May 23 “to pursue another career opportunity,” Mesa stated in an 8-K filing. Michael Lotz, the company’s current president, chief operating officer, and principal accounting officer, will serve as interim CFO “until a suitable replacement is found,” according to the company.

Hoke, who joined Mesa in March 2007 as vice president of finance, became interim CFO after the company fired George “Peter” Murnane III following a U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s finding that Mesa had violated a confidentiality agreement with Hawaiian Airlines. At the time, Mesa noted that the court found Murnane had destroyed evidence pertaining to Hawaiian’s breach-of-contract lawsuit against Mesa.

At press time, Mesa had not responded to a phone call by CFO.com, and Hoke had not returned messages left on his voice mail at the company and at his home in Tempe, Arizona.

Before joining Mesa, Hoke was vice president of finance for Insight Enterprises, a Tempe-based publicly traded provider of information technology products, from April 2001 to November 2006. Before that, he held a number of senior-management posts with companies in Phoenix, including Deloitte & Touche and Telespectrum Worldwide.

Mesa is currently appealing the prospect of a Nasdaq delisting spurred by the company’s failure to file its first-quarter financials. On May 13, it filed a notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission stating that the company would put off filing its 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31. As of June 6, the company had apparently not filed.

Mesa is also extremely strapped for cash. In a May regulatory filing, it contended that if Delta Air Lines terminates an agreement for Mesa to provide connecting flights to the larger carrier, it wouldn’t have enough cash flows from operations and available working capital to meet its cash requirements.