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Saretsky is new WestJet president and CEO as Durfy resigns

WestJet president and CEO Sean Durfy has resigned and will step down on 1 April 2010 to be replaced by the airline’s EVP operations, Gregg Saretsky.

Durfy, who has cited personal reasons for his departure, will also resign from the board of directors on 1 April. "This was a very difficult decision for me; however, after careful consideration, I have decided that this is best for me and my family," Durfy explained. "Those things I set out to accomplish at WestJet have now been achieved and I believe this is an appropriate time to allow others to carry the torch while I spend more time with my young family."

Clive Beddoe, WestJet chairman, added, "We will miss Sean’s passion and leadership at the executive and board level and we sincerely thank him for his tremendous contributions to WestJet over the past several years."

Durfy’s successor, Gregg Saretsky, joined WestJet in June 2009 as vice-president, WestJet Vacations, before assuming the role of executive vice-president, operations, in October 2009.

"As a 25-year airline industry veteran, Gregg has been a valuable member of WestJet’s executive team. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the president and CEO role and we are confident his background will provide the leadership and experience required to achieve our strategic plans," remarked chairman Beddoe.

Durfy has agreed to remain with WestJet until 1 September 2010, and will assist the company with the transition. An executive search for a new executive vice-president, operations, is under way.

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