Air France-KLM Names Interim CEO After Janaillac Resigns

Lloyd Doyle
May 17, 2018

Existing board member Anne-Marie Couderc (pictured) has been named non-executive chairman.

The beleaguered carrier group recently lost CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac due to his inability to end long-running French strikes over pay, and now it's replaced him with a trio: CFO Frédéric Gagey, who is stepping up as group CEO; and the Air France and KLM CEOs, Franck Terner and Pieter Elbers, who are now also both deputy group CEOs.

The committee will make its decisions jointly, overseeing and monitoring group functions and coordinating strategic matters between the group and its airlines, which, as well as Air France and KLM, also include Transavia, HOP! and Joon.

She said the board has asked them "to continue the work already under way on Air France-KLM's medium-term strategic plan, a task which will be handed over to the group's future governance".

Anne-Marie Couderc added: "The Board of Directors has complete faith in the ability of the management committee and the group executive committee to manage the group's activities during this transition period".

Air France-KLM reported a net loss of 269 million euros (USD 322 million) for the first quarter, weighed down by the strikes.

The board said the interim management structure would be in place "for the shortest-possible period" needed to appoint Janaillac's successor, without imposing a specific time limit.

This is a temporary appointment designed to fill in the gap created by the resignation of Jean-Marc Janaillac as CEO after his latest pay-and-conditions proposal was rejected by striking Air France pilots 10 days ago.

Strikes at Air France have cost the French airline an estimated €400m so far this year and have been pulling the fragile partnership apart as Air France pilots seek a fatter pay package.

In a sign that the board is ready to hold the line over the labor dispute at Air France, the statement said the French subsidiary's chief executive, Franck Terner, would not have a mandate to take any decisions that would jeopardize the growth strategy already approved by the board.

"These strikes will also have a negative impact on the Group's financial results", it warned.

On Tuesday, an adviser to President Emmanuel Macron said the French government had no plans to reduce its 14.3 percent stake in Air France-KLM, but may not maintain this level forever.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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