British Airways boss Alex Cruz steps down as industry faces ‘worst crisis’ in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
The British airliner boss was criticized for his handling of the virus where 12,000 jobs were cut and BA’s job cuts strategy was described as “fire and rehire” by unions, which said it was a plan to push the 30,000 employees who still had jobs on to downgraded terms and conditions.
Cruz will be replaced by Sean Doyle, the chief executive of Aer Lingus. Doyle will also take over Cruz’s role as non-executive chairman of BA after a transition period. Both carriers are part of International Airlines Group (IAG).
British Airway’s owners, International Airlines Group (IAG) has said the shake-up came as the company navigated “the worst crisis faced in our industry” as countries closed their borders and air travel dried up due to the worldwide lockdown.
IAG also named BA’s new CEO as Sean Doyle, the chief executive of Aer Lingus, another carrier owned by IAG.
“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,” said Luis Gallego, the IAG chief executive.
“Cruz has led the airline through a particularly demanding period and has secured restructuring agreements with the vast majority of employees. 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 shareholders.”
Cruz, who was appointed chairman and chief executive of British Airways in 2016, was paid £805,000 in salary, benefits and pension last year.
Donal Moriarty, the Aer Lingus chief corporate affairs officer, has been promoted to the role of the Irish airline’s interim chief executive while a permanent replacement is found.
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