Odd: Delta’s Newest Executive Already Resigned

Odd: Delta’s Newest Executive Already Resigned

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Here’s an incredibly strange development regarding Delta’s newest executive…

Scott Laurence moves to Delta, resigns

In January I wrote about how Delta appointed Scott Laurence as Vice President of Network Planning. What made this so noteworthy is that Laurence was previously a JetBlue executive, and was one of the key people behind the strategic alliance between American & JetBlue.

This alliance was essentially intended to allow American and JetBlue to better compete against Delta in New York. His move from JetBlue to Delta was significant, especially as the Department of Justice is currently challenging this alliance.

Well, just a few weeks after starting at Delta, Laurence has already resigned. Delta has confirmed this development, though there’s no further information as to why Laurence decided to leave the airline.

For context, Laurence has been in the airline industry for over 25 years, first working at US Airways, then at United, then at JetBlue, and now (very briefly) at Delta.

Laurence was poached from JetBlue

What went wrong?

How strange to leave an airline for a competitor, and then resign within a few weeks. Presumably one of three things happened:

  • Laurence immediately decided Delta wasn’t a good fit for him
  • Delta decided Laurence wasn’t a good fit for the airline
  • While you’d think this would have been crystal clear prior to him departing, perhaps there was some sort of non-compete clause (or something) that caused a major issues for the prospect of Laurence working at Delta, given his knowledge of the American & JetBlue alliance

One thing is for sure — Laurence is running out of US airlines to work for. I can’t imagine JetBlue would want to rehire him, and similarly, I can’t imagine American would hire him either (given that he was involved in the strategic alliance and then left). Now Delta is off the table. He had worked at United before so who knows what kind of a relationship he has with that airline.

I suppose there’s always Southwest, Allegiant, Frontier, etc., but pickings are getting slim

Laurence is running out of US airlines to work at

Bottom line

A few weeks ago Scott Laurence took a job at Delta, after working at JetBlue for years. This was a major development, since he was behind the American & JetBlue alliance that was intended to challenge Delta in New York. Now he has already resigned at Delta.

This is one of the more unusual resignations we’ve seen at an airline in a while. While we’ll probably never find out, I can’t help but wonder what the backstory is here…

What do you make of Laurence’s quick resignation at Delta?

Conversations (27)
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  1. Svea Mason Guest

    Time can be a great truth teller.

  2. kcm Guest

    DOJ is coming after him for breaking the law with the AA B6 contract.

  3. Happy Flyer Member

    In many states a non-compete is illegal, not all states, but many. You would have to look at what state has jurisdiction.

  4. Eddie B Guest

    Rumor is he found the SVP of delta network to be awful to work for.

  5. Luis Grames Guest

    If there was a clause, they were aware of it before taking him, so there have to be something else in here???

    1. Sandra Guest

      True, would certainly know beforehand.

  6. Jorge Paez Guest

    He didn't like the office coffee service.
    'Nuff said.
    One credit card at a time.....

    1. henare Diamond

      exactly. he learned some inconvenient (for delta) truth, or something similar...

  7. Ray Gold

    Why didn't he suddenly have a personal issue that needed his full attention come as one of the possible reasons? Who knows, maybe the wife found him with another woman, maybe he has a child or family member ill. There could be many reasons, not sure why the speculation here. He quit after just starting. Not the first person in the world to do it, not going to be the last.

  8. Volleyball Guest

    We’ll find out once his next job is announced. Despite spirit/frontiers merger, doesn’t seem like they’d have a use for him but the timing is very coincidental. Very possible a non-US airline or even a non-airline, like a hotel chain, lured him away.

  9. M.E. Singer Guest

    Such a sudden turnaround towards the departure gate should not be surprising in the corporate world these day, given the incessant issues re age, gender, and longtime favorites.

    Indeed, this issue is not limited to one industry. We have witnessed this flip flop at Amtrak, where the second ex-airline CEO also left well ahead of his stated intent how he was in for the long run. What was not calculated was how he was...

    Such a sudden turnaround towards the departure gate should not be surprising in the corporate world these day, given the incessant issues re age, gender, and longtime favorites.

    Indeed, this issue is not limited to one industry. We have witnessed this flip flop at Amtrak, where the second ex-airline CEO also left well ahead of his stated intent how he was in for the long run. What was not calculated was how he was undermined by a long term junior corporate officer, in cahoots with the Board Chair, who wanted to set the table only their way.
    Coming out of the corporate jungle, I can visualize the potential of such a rancid, loaded environment where the Board Chair's pet has the support to turnout the new guy to make room for his own promotion.

    1. henare Diamond

      When you post the same thing twice under two different user names...

  10. Rail Provacator Guest

    We have witnessed this flip flop at Amtrak, where the second ex-airline CEO also left well ahead of his stated intent how he was in for the long run. What was not calculated was how he was undermined by his #2, in cahoots with the Board Chair, who wanted to set the table only their way.
    Coming out of the corporate jungle, I can visualize the potential of such a rancid, loaded environment where...

    We have witnessed this flip flop at Amtrak, where the second ex-airline CEO also left well ahead of his stated intent how he was in for the long run. What was not calculated was how he was undermined by his #2, in cahoots with the Board Chair, who wanted to set the table only their way.
    Coming out of the corporate jungle, I can visualize the potential of such a rancid, loaded environment where the Board Chair's pet has the support to turnout the new guy to make room for his own promotion.

    1. henare Diamond

      When you post the same thing twice under two different user names...

  11. AVGeekHNL New Member

    I'm a retired executive recruiter (headhunter). The recruitment process of a high level executive is quite complicated. Usually, during the offer negotiation phase, legal council is brought in to review all the existing non-competes and non-disclosure agreements (NDA). Both the company's legal council as well as the executive's legal council get involved. So the existing non-competes and NDAs are resolved in advance of actual employment. However, the hiring company does not disclose all of the...

    I'm a retired executive recruiter (headhunter). The recruitment process of a high level executive is quite complicated. Usually, during the offer negotiation phase, legal council is brought in to review all the existing non-competes and non-disclosure agreements (NDA). Both the company's legal council as well as the executive's legal council get involved. So the existing non-competes and NDAs are resolved in advance of actual employment. However, the hiring company does not disclose all of the issues it may be having, these "company problems" are not visible to the executive during the hiring process. Only after the first day of employment and the signing of the new NDA does the executive get to look behind the curtain. Sometimes what the executive sees behind the curtain is not what he/she expected, and determines in a few weeks that there is no way he/she will be able to execute what the employer wants him/her to do. The only way out is an amicable separation. There are risks in the employment process - it doesn't go well all the time.

  12. jsm Guest

    It's obvious his employment wasn't in California, where almost all non-compete agreements cannot be enforced as against public policy.

    This has made the Silicon Valley tech industry very fluid. There are going to be a number of shocked techies whose companies move to other states, such as Texas, when they discover themselves out of the industry for a year or more.

  13. G.O.B. Guest

    "I've made a huge mistake"

  14. Jetiquette Guest

    Highly doubt this has anything to do with noncompete. Almost every executive has one and every company knows this.

  15. Tim Dunn Diamond

    It is possible that Delta hired him to get him away from JetBlue and either paid him enough to quit or they found skeletons in his closet such as about the Northeast alliance that they didn't want to be anywhere near.

    As for a possible non-compete issue, if Laurence had one and JBLU said they would try to enforce it, he screwed himself.

  16. Your daddy Guest

    100% non compete issue and Delta decided it didn't want to fight it.

    1. AndreaItaliano Guest

      Scott was pretty vocal leaving JetBlue that he was going to Delta to replace Joe and succeed Glen. Sounds like they had other ideas for him. It has nothing to do with a noncompete. Reporting to the guy, reporting to the guy, reporting to the guy wasn’t the ego boost he needed (and if you know Scott you know he’s motivated by ego and $$). Let’s see how he does at the next job. He’s already telling people he has something lined up.

  17. Wes Guest

    With a career as long as that, it can probably be safely said that he’d reached a point where he felt comfortable saying, “My next bad day at work will be my last.” It appears that day came. Hope he is able to enjoy life without missing (read: “being addicted to”) the grind.

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AVGeekHNL New Member

I'm a retired executive recruiter (headhunter). The recruitment process of a high level executive is quite complicated. Usually, during the offer negotiation phase, legal council is brought in to review all the existing non-competes and non-disclosure agreements (NDA). Both the company's legal council as well as the executive's legal council get involved. So the existing non-competes and NDAs are resolved in advance of actual employment. However, the hiring company does not disclose all of the issues it may be having, these "company problems" are not visible to the executive during the hiring process. Only after the first day of employment and the signing of the new NDA does the executive get to look behind the curtain. Sometimes what the executive sees behind the curtain is not what he/she expected, and determines in a few weeks that there is no way he/she will be able to execute what the employer wants him/her to do. The only way out is an amicable separation. There are risks in the employment process - it doesn't go well all the time.

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Wes Guest

With a career as long as that, it can probably be safely said that he’d reached a point where he felt comfortable saying, “My next bad day at work will be my last.” It appears that day came. Hope he is able to enjoy life without missing (read: “being addicted to”) the grind.

2
Endre Guest

*cough* Dirty laundry *cough*

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