The Etihad Aviation Group Board of Directors announced that James Hogan will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company in the second half of this year.
The Board and Hogan first initiated the transition process last year with the formation in May of the Etihad Aviation Group, a diversified global aviation and travel organization.
Hogan will join an investment company along with Etihad Aviation Group CFO James Rigney, who will also leave the company later this year. A global search for a new Group CEO and a new Group CFO is already underway.
Commenting on Hogan’s time at Etihad, Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, chairman of the board of the Etihad Aviation Group said: “We are very grateful to James. In just 10 years, he has overseen the growth of the company from a 22 plane regional carrier into a 120 aircraft global airline and aviation group, with seven airline equity partnerships which together serve more than 120 million guests every year. It is a business which has set new benchmarks for service and innovation. Under his leadership, the company has provided new opportunities for thousands of Emiratis and has been a critical element in the remarkable progress of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We look forward to James’ continued association with Abu Dhabi in new ways.”
Hogan said: “Along with the board and my 26,000 colleagues, I am very proud of what we have built together at Etihad and of the company’s substantial contribution to the UAE and to the development of Abu Dhabi. The last decade has seen incredible results but this only represents a first chapter in the story of Etihad.”
Commenting on current priorities for the business, Mazrouei said: “To position the company for continued success in a challenging market, the Board and management team will continue an ongoing, company-wide strategic review. We must ensure that the airline is the right size and the right shape.
“We must continue to improve cost efficiency, productivity and revenue. We must progress and adjust our airline equity partnerships even as we remain committed to the strategy,” he added.
Last month, Etihad Airways unveiled plans to create a new European leisure airline group in a joint venture with TUI AG. A new codeshare agreement with Lufthansa and an aircraft leasing agreement between airberlin and Lufthansa were also announced. As a minority shareholder, Etihad is actively participating in the next phase of Alitalia’s restructuring plan.
“Etihad is a great business with strong fundamentals and a deeply experienced aviation and airline management team. These assets, along with a realigned organization, provide more agility and added focus as Etihad enters the next phase of its development,” Mazrouei added.
The group has developed a senior management structure with strength in depth, led by a highly-regarded senior team. This team includes Peter Baumgartner, CEO, and Richard Hill, COO, of Etihad Airways; Bruno Mathieu as CEO of Airline Equity Partners; and Jeff Wilkinson as CEO of Etihad Airways Engineering. Darren Peisley is Acting Managing Director of Hala, the company’s destination marketing and global loyalty unit. A further strengthening of the Group structure was announced earlier this month with the creation of Etihad Airport Services led by Managing Director Chris Youlten.
In addition, the group chiefs leading the core corporate functions include Kevin Knight, Strategy and Planning; Ray Gammell, People and Performance; Rob Webb, Technology and Innovation; and Harsh Mohan, Executive Affairs.
Etihad Airways is a flag carrier and the second-largest airline of the UAE (after Emirates). The airline operates more than 1,000 flights per week to over 120 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, with a fleet of 122 Airbus and Boeing aircraft as of July 2016.