Tuesday, July 23, 2024

flyExclusive names new president, EVP

Kinston-based flyExclusive, the charter-flight company that went public last year, has promoted an executive to president and hired an executive vice president.

Mike Guina, flyExclusive’s chief operating officer, has been promoted to president. He will be responsible for leadership of flyExclusive’s fleet, dispatch, maintenance and pilot operations. He will also be a leading voice in all of its strategic initiatives.

“Matthew brings financial and operational expertise that will foster strategic alignment across our organization,” said CEO and founder Jim Segrave in a statement. “We look forward to leveraging his public company experience as we execute on our growth and vertical integration plans.”

He replaces Tommy Sowers, who left in April. Sowers had joined the company, which has more than 800 employees and 100 jets, in July 2021.

Prior to joining flyExclusive, Guina served as executive vice president of Delta Private Jets where his responsibilities operations, sales, product development and revenue management.

He joined Delta Private Jets with the acquisition of Segrave Aviation in January 2010 where he had spent the previous six years also as executive vice president. Previously, he spent 10 years with Air Partner PLC, rising to president of U.S. operations.

Matthew Lesmeister has been hired as executive vice president and chief of staff. He will be in charge of management, cross-functional alignment and operational efficiency.

Lesmeister served most recently as vice president of transformation and strategy at Fox Factory Holding, a publicly traded company that designs and manufactures sport and off-road vehicles. There, Lesmeister developed investment strategies and integrated several acquisitions across global business units,

Prior to joining Fox Factory in 2016, Lesmeister served in various roles of increasing responsibility at United Technologies, an aerospace and defense technology conglomerate.

FlyExclusive went public in late December 2023 via a combination with a New York special purpose acquisition company. FlyExclusive is the fifth-largest U.S. charter/fractional private jet operator.

The company had a net loss of $46.8 million last year, compared with a gain of $6 million in 2022. Revenue was $315 million last year, compared with $320 million a year earlier.

A key reason for the flat revenue was that flyExclusive ended its agreement with New York-based Wheels Up, another “on-demand” jet charter service that made up 39% of revenue in 2022. That declined to 22% last year after the two companies ended their agreement on June 30.

The stock closed Thursday at $5.94, down $2.92, or 35.9%.

Chris Roush
Chris Roush
Chris Roush is executive editor of Business North Carolina. He can be reached at

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