Skybus Replaces CEO Diffenderffer

Last Updated Mar 24, 2008 6:14 PM EDT

Reports are out that Skybus CEO Bill Diffenderffer is leaving the airline to, get this, write books. Sounds strange, no?

The information coming out of the airline doesn't make it clear exactly why he's leaving, but my guess is that it wasn't just so that he could become the next Thoreau. Sure, the Chairman of the Board said that Diffenderffer "feels that now is the time for others in the organization to take the lead in moving Skybus forward," but do you really buy that? A guy who has taken the airline this far is probably not just about to give up and walk away. He, at least, must have discussed it with the Board beforehand, because the airline's CFO will slide right into the CEO spot.

Skybus must be feeling the heat of extremely high oil prices. They've been employing a ping pong ball network strategy lately; going into and out of markets quickly. Sometimes, as was the case with Niagara Falls, they pulled out before they even started. So, this may be the Board's attempt at doing some housekeeping to right the ship.

I suppose the severity of the changes under the new CEO will tell us who prompted this. If we don't see much change, then Diffenderffer may very well have just decided to call it quits on his own. If we see bigger changes, then I think we can guess he was forced out.

Either way, heading off on your own to write books doesn't sound like a bad idea at all. At least he won't have to worry about the cost of oil.