Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, will step down from his position in March 2020, after nine years of service. He will be replaced by Luis Gallego, currently chief executive of Iberia.
Walsh has been at the head of IAG since its creation in 2011, when British Airways and Iberia merged, and helped the group, with the acquisition of companies like Aer Lingus and Vueling.
He will resign from his position and from the board of directors on March 26, 2020, and will retire on June 30 of the same year, at the age of 58.
“It has been a great pleasure to work with Willie over the last seven years,” Gallego said, adding “it is an exciting time at IAG and I am confident that we can build on the strong foundations created by Willie.” In November 2019, IAG announced it would acquire the Spanish Air Europa for $1.1 billion.
In September 2019, IAG lowered its earnings forecast for the year. The main reason was the pilots’ strike, headed by the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) which cost it $149 million (€137 million). In total, International Airlines Group (IAG) expects profits to drop by $235 million (€137 million) compared to 2018, before counting exceptional items.
Walsh’s decision comes just a month after Emirates’ Tim Clark, another important name of the aviation industry announced his departure.