Timothy Hoeksema, chairman, president and CEO of Midwest Airlines, will leave the airline when Republic Airways wraps up its purchase of Midwest, probably in four to six weeks.
Hoeksema has been with the airline since 1983, before it was an airline. It originally was known as K-C Aviation, a division of Kimberly-Clark. It was called Midwest Express before changing it to Midwest Airlines.
Hoeksema sent this email to employees Tuesday, the day the sale was announced:
To: All Midwest and Skyway Employees
Date: June 23, 2009
From: T.E. Hoeksema
Subject: Acquisition by Republic Airways
Republic Airways Holdings announced today it will acquire Midwest Airlines from TPG Capital. Midwest Air Group will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Republic Airways Holdings, and Midwest Airlines will continue to operate as a branded carrier with its current route network.
This acquisition solidifies a more certain future for Midwest Airlines. This year marks our 25th year of service, and this announcement enables Midwest to write the next chapter in our history – building on our unique heritage of service and community commitment. Republic is a quality organization and a strategic airline partner that appreciates the bond Midwest has with its customers and communities. Republic can bring operational and cost efficiencies to Midwest that we as a stand-alone carrier could not leverage.
Under the new ownership, discussions regarding the renegotiation of collective bargaining agreements will continue with labor organizations representing Midwest pilots, currently in mediation, and Midwest flight attendants.
While many things such as our status as a branded airline and our network will remain the same, there are things that will be changing as part of this transaction. Due to the overlapping responsibilities of the senior leadership teams of Midwest and Republic, several senior-level executives, including me, will be leaving the organization.
Following this memo, you will receive a memo from Bryan Bedford, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Republic Airways. Bryan will participate in an employee meeting we are holding in Milwaukee today and will be a visible presence going forward as he continues to meet employees and get better acquainted with our airline.