Gogo has announced that Oakleigh Thorne has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Thorne’s appointment follows the mutual decision by Michael J. Small and the Gogo Board of Directors for Mr. Small to step down as President and Chief Executive Officer, and as a director of the company.
Gogo says Oakleigh Thorne, a director of the Company since 2003, has approximately 30 years of leadership experience with significant operational and financial expertise.
He currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Thorndale Farm LLC, the family office of the Thorne family, which is the largest Gogo shareholder, owning approximately 30 percent of the company’s outstanding common stock.
Mr. Thorne has served in numerous senior management positions, including as Chief Executive Officer of two public companies.
From May 2000 until July 2007, Mr. Thorne served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of eCollege.com. Under his leadership, he drove a five-fold increase in equity value which culminated in the sale of the company for more than $500 million.
Earlier in his career, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Commerce Clearing House (CCH) and led a significant operational transformation that culminated in CCH’s $1.9 billion sale to Wolters Kluwer in 1996.
“I am excited to work with the Gogo team as we move forward with urgency to execute on four strategic priorities: driving quality for airlines and passengers, sharpening our operational focus, achieving profitability with the money we have in the bank and driving shareholder value,” said Oakleigh Thorne.
“We are highly confident in our ability to achieve our strategic and financial objectives as we improve execution and realize our significant growth opportunities.”
Ronald T. LeMay, Chairman of the Gogo Board of Directors, said: “With our best-in-class technology and capabilities, the Board believes that Gogo has a clear path to achieving our objectives and that now is the right time to transition leadership.
“After a comprehensive search process, the Board determined that Oak is the best person to help Gogo achieve our next phase of growth. Oak is a seasoned executive with a strong track record and his interests are aligned with all shareholders.
“He has made significant contributions to Gogo as a member of our board and has a deep understanding of our business, strategy and operations. On behalf of the board, we also thank Michael for building Gogo into a global leader and we wish him the best.”