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Virgin America's Chief Financial Officer to Depart in 2009

18th December 2008 - 07:46 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Virgin America today announced that Robert B. Dana, its founding Senior Vice President - Chief Financial Officer, will step down in early 2009. Mr. Dana cited personal reasons for his decision, particularly the challenges of the transcontinental weekly commute from the New York area that he has conducted since the Company moved its corporate headquarters from Manhattan to Burlingame, California in 2005.

"Decisions like this are never easy, but this is the right move at the right time for my family and me. The most difficult part will be leaving the greatest group of teammates anyone could ever have. But I'm encouraged by the fact that as I take my leave, Virgin America is superbly positioned with respect to our financial stability, our reputation with our guests, and our executive leadership," said Mr. Dana.

Mr. Dana is employee No. 1 at Virgin America, and has held his current position since June 28, 2004. He wrote the first business plan for the Company and played a lead role in developing its initial capitalization and attracting U.S. investors. He led the Company's campaign to acquire its Airbus A320 family fleet and with his team has raised more than $1.2 billion in aircraft financing. His current responsibilities include treasury, financial reporting, budgets, financial planning and analysis, procurement and fleet planning. In addition, from 2005 to early 2008 he managed Virgin America's Information Technologies Team. Prior to joining Virgin America, Mr. Dana worked on Wall Street as an investment banker for 16 years at Credit Suisse First Boston and Piper Jaffray covering the aviation and semiconductor industries, including transactions valued at over $50 billion. He holds an undergraduate degree from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

"Bob played a foundational role in launching Virgin America and growing the Company from a start-up to the award-winning carrier it is today," said Virgin America President and CEO David Cush. "He leaves Virgin America as the best capitalized U.S. start-up airline of all time - with a strong business plan and financial portfolio. All of us here thank him for his service and wish him the best in his future endeavors."

Mr. Dana has agreed to stay on through a yet to be determined date in the first quarter of 2009, in order to facilitate a smooth transition to the new Chief Financial Officer. Spencer Stuart has been retained to conduct a search for the position.

EDITORS NOTE: Virgin America is a U.S. controlled and operated airline and an entirely separate company from Virgin Atlantic. Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group is a minority share investor in Virgin America.

About Virgin America: Launched in August 2007, Virgin America offers guests attractive fares and a host of innovative features aimed at reinventing air travel. Virgin America's base of operations is San Francisco International Airport's ultra-modern International Terminal. The airline's new Airbus A320-family aircraft offer interactive inflight entertainment systems and power outlets for electronic gear. In 2008, Virgin America was named "Best Domestic Airline" in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers' Choice Awards and "Best Domestic Airline" in Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards. To learn more about Virgin America, visit:


The Shephard News Team


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