JetBlue Finance Chief to Depart, Take Same Job at EBay

JetBlue Airways Corp. named Ursula Hurley, its head of treasury and investor relations, as acting chief financial officer after the resignation of Steve Priest, who’s taking the same post at EBay Inc.

Priest’s departure is effective June 11, the New York-based airline said in a statement Monday. He’ll start at EBay on June 21, according to the online retailer.

The departing executive has spearheaded major fleet decisions and cost-control efforts at the carrier since 2017. Priest joined JetBlue from IAG’s British Airways in 2015 as vice president of structural programs and became chief financial officer in February 2017.

“They were starting to reap the benefits of the multiyear structural cost program initiatives right before Covid hit, and should again in the recovery,” said Savanthi Syth, a Raymond James Financial Inc. analyst.

JetBlue rose 1.2% to $19.91 at the close in New York, while eBay increased 1.4% to $61.69.

Priest oversaw discussions that led JetBlue to convert some existing aircraft orders in 2019 to the Airbus SE A321XLR, enabling the carrier to plan transatlantic flights that are expected to begin in the third quarter. He also led talks on JetBlue’s 2018 order for 60 Airbus A220 aircraft valued at $5.4 billion.

“The airline industry is known to be incredibly competitive, forever operating on tight margins, high customer expectations and the endless need to evolve,” Jamie Iannone, EBay’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “I’m excited for Steve to bring his unique and valuable perspective to EBay.”

Hurley, who has been with JetBlue for 17 years, has been responsible for a number of areas, such as debt and cash management, fuel and interest-rate hedging, and fleet strategy, including aircraft and engine sourcing, the company said. She recently began managing investor relations.

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