Luis Gallego, until now president and CEO of Iberia, has been elected this Tuesday as CEO of IAG in replacement of Willie Walsh after obtaining the approval of the group’s general shareholders meeting.
This appointment, initially scheduled for March 26th, was postponed at the same time as the general shareholders meeting as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
IAG’s Chairman, Antonio Vazquez, has thanked Walsh for remaining at the helm of the group with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, allowing the top airline directors to put all their effort into responding to the crisis.
For this reason, he thanked them for their “availability, commitment and professionalism until the last moment”, and recalled that together they built, “from some airlines, British Airways and Iberia, plagues of structural difficulties”, a business model “unique in the industry” and that Walsh “has known how to manage under the highest standards of efficiency and leadership”.
About Gallego, Vázquez has indicated that he will assume his function as CEO “with the absolute confidence of the board in his knowledge of the industry, his management capacity and his exceptional leadership skills”. He also highlighted Gallego’s credentials for having carried out in Iberia “a transformation process that is a reference in aviation worldwide”.
For his part, Walsh said he was “delighted” that Gallego is replacing him, as “he has been a natural success story for years” and has demonstrated in Iberia that he is “a top level leader”. “I have no doubt that he is the right person for the job and an excellent choice”, he added.
He has also indicated that it is “gratifying” that the internal succession plans “have borne fruit once again” with the up to now president and CEO of Vueling, Javier Sánchez Prieto, taking over from Gallego at the head of Iberia, as well as the up to now commercial director of Iberia, Marco Sansavini, taking over the leadership position of Vueling. Walsh is convinced that both “are the right people for their new positions”.
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