British Airways Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruz is stepping down with immediate effect. He will be replaced by Sean Doyle, CEO of Aer Lingus.

Alex Cruz remains a non-executive director of the board for a transition period after which he will also be replaced by Sean Doyle.

The change of leadership was announced in a statement of the airline group IAG, parent company of British Airways. The recent successor to Willie Walsh as Group CEO, Luis Gallego, said the change came as the company navigated "the worst crisis in our industry.”

Alex Cruz "worked tirelessly to modernize the airline in the years leading up to the celebration of its 100th anniversary,” commented Gallego. “Since then, he has led the airline through a particularly demanding period and has secured restructuring agreements with the vast majority of employees.” The exact reason behind the resignation was not given.

After working 20 years for British Airways, Sean Doyle led Aer Lingus, another airline of the IAG group, for nearly two years.

In April 2020, British Airways announced that 12,000 of its employees will lose their jobs. In turn, the airline offered voluntary redundancy packages to more senior employees, which more than 6,000 of the carrier’s staff took up as of August 7, 2020.

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British Airways (BA) reported that by August 7, 2020, more than 6,000 employees took voluntary redundancy which indicates that the company reached a halfway mark through its planned furloughs.