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  • Joe Breitfeller

Alex Cruz Steps Down as British Airways Chairman and CEO, Will Remain Non-Executive Chairman

Updated: Nov 19, 2020

Effective Immediately, Alex Cruz has stepped down as British Airways’ Chief Executive, but remains Non-Executive Chairman. Aer Lingus Chairman and CEO Sean Doyle becomes new BA Chief Executive and will take over as Chairman after a transition period.

British Airways Former Chief Executive and Current Non-Executive Chairman. Alex Cruz - Courtesy British Airways

On Monday (October 12, 2020), the International Airlines Group (IAG) announced that British Airways Chairman and Chief Executive, Alex Cruz, has stepped down with immediate effect, but will remain non-executive chairman. Aer Lingus Chairman and Chief Executive, Sean Doyle will become British Airways’ new chief executive and will take over as chairman after a transition period. LEVEL’s Chief Executive, Fernando Candela, will join IAG’s management in a new role as Chief Transformation Officer, while Aer Lingus’ Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, Donal Moriarty will become the Irish carrier’s interim chief executive. In Monday’s announcement, IAG’s Chief Executive, Luis Gallego, said,

“IAG has proved itself to be one of the world’s leading airline groups with a portfolio of successful companies. We’re navigating the worst crisis faced in our industry and I’m confident these internal promotions will ensure IAG is well placed to emerge in a strong position. I want to thank Alex for all that he has done at British Airways. He worked tirelessly to modernize the airline in the years leading up to the celebration of its 100th anniversary. Since then, he has led the airline through a particularly demanding period and has secured restructuring agreements with the vast majority of employees.

“Sean Doyle has extensive experience at British Airways having worked there for 20 years before moving to head Aer Lingus nearly two years ago where he has done an excellent job. I am confident that will continue at British Airways. Fernando Candela, who has more than 25 years of experience in aviation and excelled at both Iberia Express and LEVEL, joins our management committee in the new chief transformation officer role. He will coordinate change across the Group, focusing on creating a company fit for a different future and ready to take advantage of new opportunities. In the short term, he will also remain chief executive of LEVEL until a replacement is appointed. As our new team comes together, we remain focused on making the right operational and strategic decisions for the long-term benefit of all IAG’s stakeholders.

Alex Cruz has served British Airways as Chairman and Chief Executive since April 2016. Mr. Cruz previously served as Vueling’s CEO from 2009, when the carrier merged with Clickair, an airline he founded in 2006. British Airways new Chief Executive, Sean Boyle, joined the carrier in 1998 and has held various financial, strategy and commercial roles. Mr. Boyle joined BA’s Executive Management Committee as Director of Network in 2016, before becoming the CEO of Aer Lingus in 2019. Fernando Candela was the Chief Executive of Iberia Express before becoming Vueling’s Chief Executive in September 2019. Prior to joining Iberia Express, Mr. Candela served as the Director of Planning and Management Control at Air Nostrum. Aer Lingus’ new Interim Chief Executive, Donal Moriarty, joined carrier as Company Secretary in 2009 and has served as Chief Corporate Affairs Officer since November 2017.

Source: International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG)

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