VOL. 127 | NO. 45 | Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Pinnacle CFO Announces Resignation
By Bill Dries
The chief financial officer of Memphis-based Pinnacle Airlines Corp. is resigning effective at the end of March, the company announced Monday, March 5.
Ted Christie was one of the first major hires made by Sean Menke when Menke became president and CEO of Pinnacle in July.
Christie is leaving the regional air carrier as the company undergoes a critical restructuring that could include filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, seeking permanent wage cuts from employees and other measures.
He is leaving to become CFO at a “leading U.S. low-cost airline,” according to the Pinnacle statement announcing his departure.
Christie took the position as vice president and chief financial officer July 25. Christie and Menke previously worked together when Menke ran Frontier Airlines, and the two moved from there to Vista Strategic Group LLC, a consulting company.
“He has played a key role in developing our ongoing turnaround plan,” Menke said in a statement, adding he appreciated Christie’s willingness to stay on board through the end of March to help smooth the transition.
Christie said he is confident the restructuring work currently under way will continue after his departure.
Menke announced in December that Pinnacle had hired consultants and an attorney for a significant restructuring to reduce costs and enhance liquidity. He has also said several times the regional air carrier will not survive without such changes.
Last month, a letter with Menke’s latest update to employees again mentioned the possibility of bankruptcy reorganization. The letter also stated it was essential that Pinnacle win permanent wage concessions with pilots represented by the Air Line Pilots Association and enter a new permanent agreement with United Air Lines Inc., one of the global carriers with which Pinnacle has a contract to provide connecting flights.
Pinnacle has short-term interim agreements with United and Export Development Canada on the financing for Q400 aircraft Pinnacle flies for United. Those agreements are scheduled to expire April 2.