Elite Interviews David Neeleman, Founder Of Jet Blue & Aviation Entrepreneur

Money

The airline business is not an easy one. With rising gas prices and the unpredictability of flight schedule changes, keeping customers happy proves to be incredibly difficult. Starting a successful airline comes with more challenges than the start of just about any other business—the stress alone is enough to make a man buckle at the knees. But starting three airlines?

Apparently it’s not as impossible as one would think. Enter: David Neelman. Born in Sao Paulo Brazil and raised in the United States, Neelman successfully started three airlines: Morris Air, JetBlue Airways and Azul Brazilian Airlines.

Neelman has lead a fruitful life growing up in Utah, attending the University of Utah for three years before dropping out and serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Northeast Region, Brazil. He founded Morris Air back in the 80s and served as the executive vice president until 1988. In 1988 he took over as president of the company.

Morris Air was eventually acquired by Southwest Airlines and Neelman eventually went on to become the CEO of Open Skies, the first touch screen reservation system and check-in system, before becoming the CEO of JetBlue. Oh yeah, did we mention that he managed to do all of this while suffering from ADHD?

We recently sat down with the man himself and got him to tell us his story, the bumps along the way, as well as how he learned to overcome his disorder to become the successful entrepreneur he is today. Have a look.

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Preston Waters is a thinker. He's not your traditional philosophical persona, however, as he leaves no topic untouched. Covering all the bases, from business to women, Preston Waters is the ultimate man's man for Gen-Y.

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