Wheels Up Adds Execs As It Faces Challenges


There’s been a shakeup in the executive suites at charter membership pioneer Wheels Up as it works through financial and operational woes. Chief Marketing Officer Lee Applebaum, who held the post since 2020, left the company on Tuesday. According to Private Jet Card Comparisons, Wheels Up said he was leaving to pursue “personal and entrepreneurial ventures.” Meanwhile, Wheels Up has announced it’s hiring former Cigna CMO and IBM executive Kristen Lauria as its Chief Customer and Marketing Officer to replace Applebaum.

Wheels Up has also hired David Godsman as Chief Digital Officer. He most recently held a similar post at Coca Cola. Both will report to founder and CEO Kenny Dichter. The company has lost hundreds of millions of dollars since going public in 2021. It’s at risk of being delisted by the New York Stock Exchange and stockholders will vote on a remedy for that involving a reverse stock split at the end of May. The company is hoping to cut losses to no more than $130 million in 2023. Wheels Up intends to be profitable in 2024.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. This is starting to look like another fractional company that went public and ended up folding in 2013.

  2. “Wheels Up intends to be profitable in 2024.”…Like, what? The intend to lose more money???

  3. Interesting that they were able to attract qualified talent to join what appears to be a sinking ship. I wonder what those deals consisted of.

    • Terrible company to work for. As I was hired as a full time employee and in 3 months laid off (and others). Then they go through this revolving doors of high level execs just goes to show how clueless this company is. Just like the gentleman said above “how do they attract qualified talent” And what golden parachutes they get even though this company will be a penny stock next year.