Ben Baldanza was hired as President of Spirit Airlines in 2005 and was elevated to CEO in 2006. Tasked with leading the airline to profitability (crucial both for the complicated business and for its investors), Ben began a full transformation process in finance, marketing, and operations.
As CEO of Spirit, Ben focused on growing the airline not just by lowering unit costs, but also through innovative approaches to ancillary revenue. This ensured financial security even as Ben spearheaded major changes in Spirit’s aircraft fleet, defensible franchise network, unbundling of pricing, and full preparation for IPO.
By the time Ben concluded his tenure in order to complete his two year transition/relocation to the Washington DC area, Spirit Airlines had become the highest margin airline in the United States.
The company tactics resulted in major recognition by the media (major US newspapers, radio, and TV news shows). Ben was twice named “one of the 25 most influential business travel executives of the year” by Business Travel News.
Prior to Spirit, Ben held senior level roles at US Airways, Taca Airlines, and Continental Airlines. His early work in the industry focused on finance, route profitability measurement, and revenue management at American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and UPS.
Ben serves on the public company boards of JetBlue Airways and Six Flags Entertainment. He serves on leadership roles with non-profit Princeton University, Syracuse University, and the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestras. He is an Adjunct Professor of Economics at George Mason University and co-host of the popular weekly podcast Airlines Confidential. He also is a Forbes.com contributor.
Diemacher is a strategy board game designed by Karl-Heinz Schmiel, based on the German elections process. It is highly regarded as one of the classic "heavy" euro-style board games and has been published at least four different times, the latest in 2019. It is the first game entered in the BoardgameGeek database.