Sun Country CEO Let Go by Chairman
After less than two years as president and chief executive of Sun Country Airlines, Zarir Erani has been ousted from the Eagan-based carrier by its chairman.
Marty Davis, whose family has owned the local airline company since 2011, recently informed Sun Country employees via email “of my decision to relieve [Erani] of his responsibilities.” In that email, which was shared with the Star Tribune, Davis said Erani was made aware of the decision nearly two weeks ago.
Davis will assume the role of interim president and CEO of Sun Country until a successor is found. On Wednesday afternoon, Davis told the newspaper that he is already “very close” to picking a replacement.
Additionally, Davis said Erani’s dismissal was unrelated to the company’s recent financial difficulties. In regulatory filing from May, Sun Country reported a 41 percent drop in operating revenue in 2016 compared to the prior year. Operating revenue and the number of passengers it carried also fell by about 1.5 and 2.5 percent, respectively, year-over-year.
Some saw Erani as a fish out of water given his lack of airline industry experience. Before Sun Country, he was the chief information officer at Hallmark Business Connections, the business-to-business subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. Most of his career involved IT work, as well as some consulting at companies like 3M.
Last December, TCB selected Erani as one of its People to Know in 2017. On the list, he was designated as a “Make or Break” honoree due to the increasing pressure Sun Country was facing from both discount carriers and larger airlines.