John Varley Named to Airline’s Top Legal Post
San Francisco – June 10, 2010 – Virgin America, the California-based domestic airline, today announces the appointment of John Varley as the Company’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel. Varley will join Virgin America in July 2010 and will serve as the airline’s chief legal officer. In the role, he will also oversee the airline’s government affairs program and its award-winning sustainability efforts. Varley comes to Virgin America after a 22 year career with Delta Air Lines, where he most recently served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. In addition to his significant expertise in aviation law, Varley is a seasoned business executive who has led the negotiation of large-scale strategic partnerships, business agreements and commercial transactions.
“While at Delta, John distinguished himself not only as an expert in aviation law, but as someone who can apply business expertise to some of the most complex partnerships and commercial transactions that a company can undertake,” said David Cush, President and Chief Executive Officer of Virgin America. “His legal and executive experience will be invaluable to Virgin America, especially as we continue to grow our operation and mature as an airline.” At Delta, Varley’s leadership roles included direct and supervisory responsibility over legal matters relating to advertising, marketing, compliance programs, commercial transactions, competition law, government relations, domestic and international alliances, international operations, intellectual property, technology and commercial litigation. While at Delta, Varley played a critical role in structuring the airline’s involvement in the successful Priceline and Orbitz Initial Public Offerings. In addition, Varley brokered several high-profile alliances for the airline, including the initial Delta and Virgin Atlantic strategic alliance and frequent flyer partnership. Varley has handled a variety of government regulatory proceedings, including matters before the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Department of Justice. Prior to joining Delta, Varley was an associate attorney with a prominent Atlanta law firm. A native of New Jersey, Varley received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Georgetown University and a J.D. degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. Varley succeeds Dave Pflieger in the role. After six years with Virgin America, Pflieger left the Company in April 2010 to assume the Chief Executive Officer role at the Fiji-based Air Pacific.