Virgin America's Brian Clark Out; Quit or Canned?

Last Updated Mar 17, 2008 4:51 PM EDT

Virgin America Aircraft in FlightI received word from Virgin America on Friday that Brian Clark, Vice President of Planning and Sales, is no longer with the company. The official statement says:
[Clark] decided to leave the company to pursue other opportunities. His resignation was effective Monday March 10, 2008. Brian has been an integral part of the leadership team since 2004, and was a critical player in building our route network and in launching Virgin America.
That he has left to "pursue other opportunities" makes me think that he didn't leave on his own. Then again, I asked in a follow-up note whether a replacement had been found, and I was told that no, they don't have a replacement yet. You'd think that if they had let him go, they would have had someone waiting in the wings to fill that very important position.

If the head of planning and sales is gone and he is not replaced by someone already in the organization, we are likely to see changes. Anecdotally, Virgin hasn't been running very full lately, and it seems like they're putting sales out every week (including this buy 2 get one free sale that I wrote about on my own blog). Combine that with $110-per-barrel oil, and something has to change.

(Image courtesy Virgin America)