Anyone know much about new marketing head Bruce Ashby?

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Old Jan 13, 05, 8:44 am
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Anyone know much about new marketing head Bruce Ashby?

Interesting article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today about him...

BUSINESS

AIRLINE'S RISING STAR NOW CLOSER TO THE TOP

Dan Fitzpatrick Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
610 words
13 January 2005
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
REGION
C-12
English


As a key lender appeared close to granting bankrupt US Airways continued access to cash, top marketing executive Ben Baldanza yesterday announced his departure and was promptly replaced by Bruce Ashby, considered a potential future chief executive if the airline survives.

The events came amid more revelations about cuts expected of the machinists union, which could lose as many as 2,500 positions if members approve the airline's $268 million concessionary offer.

Baldanza, a senior vice president who is leaving to join the much smaller low-fare carrier Spirit Airlines, is the latest in a rash of senior managers to exit the airline -- an issue the company says reflects pay cuts and its precarious financial condition.

Chief Financial Officer Dave Davis left in November, and four other senior executives, including vice president William Bozin and vice president Eilif Serck Hanssen, also are leaving by the month's end.

Ashby, a protege of former Chairman Stephen Wolf and former CEO Rakesh Gangwal, will take over Baldanza's duties as executive vice president of marketing and planning.

Baldanza, who will start as Spirit's president and chief operating officer on Jan. 24, was among those responsible for downgrading Pittsburgh from a hub to a focus city, a move that shed flights and ended direct European service from Pittsburgh International Airport.

Ashby, who has been with the airline since 1996, was in charge of the successful cost-cutting negotiations completed last year with the flight attendants and pilots. Pilots chairman Bill Pollock referred to Ashby yesterday as a "rising star" within the company.

In a message to employees yesterday, Ashby said, "There is much to be optimistic about. We have turned the corner with our labor groups, and we are now engaged together in the competitive fight that the company faces. We are leaner, tougher and ready to win."

Ashby's promotion came as the airline continued negotiations with the federal Air Transportation Stabilization Board on extending day- to-day financing past tomorrow, when it is due to expire. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen Mitchell, who must sign off on an extension, will hold a hearing on the issue this morning in Alexandria, Va.

Chicago airline analyst Bill Warlick also expects US Airways to find the $100 million in new equity necessary to keep a financing deal with General Electric, the airline's largest creditor. The GE commitment also requires action by tomorrow, and GE "clearly has signaled its willingness to continue funding the company and keep those planes in the air," Warlick said.

The next hurdle for US Airways is a ratification of the cost- cutting agreement with the International Association of Machinists, the only union not to agree to new concessions. Some analysts are worried that if the union balks, it might strike or disrupt the airline's operations in some way.

A scheduled rank-and-file vote to be completed by Jan. 21 could hinge on the willingness of some members to vote themselves out of a job. The airline's proposed cost cuts show 2,600 positions being pared, including 2,000 from the unit that represents mechanics, stock clerks and cleaners, and an estimated 600 or so from the baggage handlers.

The cuts in baggage-handling positions would most likely occur in the airline's smaller bases and not in Pittsburgh.

The company is hoping to diminish the number of furloughs by encouraging early retirements and offering to transfer displaced handlers to vacancies elsewhere in the system.
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Old Jan 13, 05, 10:25 am
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Originally Posted by Dan Fitzpatrick
Ashby, a protege of former Chairman Stephen Wolf and former CEO Rakesh Gangwal, will take over Baldanza's duties as executive vice president of marketing and planning.
This troubles me greatly!
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