DFW International Airport Board Selects Sean Donohue As New CEO For World's Fourth Busiest Airport
After a comprehensive search process, the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Board of Directors approved the designation of Sean Donohue as the next Chief Executive Officer of the Airport during its regularly scheduled board meeting today. Mr. Donohue currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of Virgin Australia, headquartered in Brisbane. The appointment is subject to execution of a definitive employment contract. Mr. Donohue will succeed Jeffrey P. Fegan, who announced his retirement this past January after 29 years of service, the last 19 as CEO.
"I am honored that the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth have entrusted me with the leadership of their Airport, which is in large measure responsible for the economic vitality of the region and the state," Mr. Donohue stated following the board's decision. "The board, the management team, and the employees of DFW have built an inclusive culture and a record of accomplishment that creates the platform for continued innovation and success. I look forward to joining the DFW team and working with our stakeholders to assure the highest levels of customer satisfaction, operational excellence, cost competitiveness and employee engagement, which will enable the Airport to deliver on its mission for many years to come."
"The DFW Board faces one of the most important decisions in its history in choosing a successor to Jeff Fegan," said Robert Hsueh, Chairman of the DFW Airport Board of Directors. "In selecting Sean Donohue, the Board realized that he embodies the visionary qualities and leadership we value in the chief executive role for the Airport. I am grateful to our Mayors and my Board colleagues from the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth, who spent countless hours on the search process and who came together on the decision to select Sean."
“Sean Donohue will be a great asset to the Dallas/Fort Worth community because he is a proven leader in the aviation industry who will enable us to accelerate our growth strategies,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “He has an important international perspective and breadth of operational experience that is essential for leadership of a global hub airport. His experience and reputation will be critical to partnering with our tier one airlines.”
“Mr. Donohue is a proven executive with a deep understanding of the aviation business, and he has earned the respect of many leaders in the airline and airport industry over the years.” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price. “He inherits a team that is recognized as one of the best in the world in terms of creating a positive experience for the traveling public, and his leadership style and personality will be a good fit for the organization.”
“I’ve spent 29 fantastic years at DFW Airport, and it has been my privilege to lead DFW for the past 19 years. Now is a great time to pass the baton,” said Jeff Fegan. “The Board’s successful recruitment of Sean as the new CEO is evidence of the strength of the DFW team, and a validation of our strategic direction. I sincerely wish him the best as he takes the reins.”
Mr. Fegan will continue his responsibilities in the interim, and will assist as requested by the Board in transition activities.
Mr. Donohue is presently responsible for Virgin Australia’s Operations Division encompassing Engineering Operations, Ground Operations, Flight Operations, Cabin Crew Operations, Group Flight Standards, Operations Planning, Catering Services, and Safety Systems. He is also responsible for Corporate Facilities and Property. In addition, he is responsible for the operations of Virgin Australia New Zealand. Mr. Donohue brings more than 25 years of airline and operational experience to his role with DFW. He has held many senior roles at United Airlines including Senior Vice President Operations; Vice President, United Express low cost operation and World-wide Operational Performance; Vice President North American Sales; and Managing Director New York.
It is anticipated Mr. Donohue will assume his responsibilities in October.