Aditya Ghosh\'s exit coincides with senior expat execs\' entry into IndiGo

作者:Frances 時間:2018-04-30 01:48:09 標籤: 分類:

The aviation industry may have been surprised by the exit of Aditya Ghosh, who late Friday announced he was stepping down as IndiGo's President.

But many now point at the appointment of Wolfgang Prock-Schauer as Chief Operating Officer in January as the first sign of more leadership churn at the top of India's largest airline by market share.

An industry veteran of nearly 40 years, Prock-Schauer came with a mix of India and overseas experience with stints in Air Berlin, Jet Airways, Austrian Airlines and GoAir.

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His experience was said to be crucial for IndiGo, which is preparing to launch long haul flights.

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As of now the airline flies to West Asia and South-East Asia.

Now Rahul Bhatia, IndiGo's promoter, has added one more expat in the senior leadership.

Along with Ghosh's exit, Bhatia —  who takes over as the interim CEO — also announced the appointment of Greg Taylor as Senior Advisor.

Taylor, who was IndiGo's Executive Vice President of Revenue Management & Network Planning during 2016-17, will later take over as President & CEO of the airline later this year.

As Bhatia mentioned in the letter to IndiGo employees - "Greg has more than 40 years of enormous and varied experience in large, World Class Airlines. This experience and his ability to understand the complexities of the airline industry will be invaluable to our future plans."

Sources told Moneycontrol that one more big addition is set to happen in IndiGo's leadership.

Willy Boulter, who was  vice-president, commercial strategy at Etihad Airways and a senior executive at IATA - the trade association of world airlines, may join IndiGo as Chief Strategy Officer.

Till February this year, Boulter was Chief Commercial Officer of TAAG Angola Airlines. While at Etihad, he was Chief Commercial Officer for Jet Airways, subsequent to the investment by the Gulf airline in its Indian peer.

Interestingly, his Linkedin profile shows that since February, he is "in transition."

All the three — Prock-Schauer, Taylor and Boulter — come with considerable international exposure coupled with understanding of the Indian aviation market.

However, not everyone is convinced by Bhatia's move to induct such heavyweight expat executives at the top.

"It's debatable if we need expats to run the business. And bringing in different people in different areas may not be a cohesive team,"  a senior executive from the industry told Moneycontrol.

"But many hands-on owner managers seem to think so. (Naresh) Goyal also does the same thing," the executive added.

The Jet Airways Chairman is known for his preference for expats. The airline's present Group Executive Officer is Capt Hameed Ali, a Bahraini national.

Over the years, many expats like Nikos Kardassis, a Greek American, Victoriano Dungca, who was a veteran in Philippine Airlines, and Ali Ghandour, who founded Royal Jordanian, have been part of the senior management in Jet Airways.

Bhatia also depended on an expat - Bruce Ashby - to set up IndiGo. Ashby was the airline's founding President and CEO.

IndiGo is presently standing at a crucial juncture. It now operates 1,000 flights a day, will induct record number of aircraft into its fleet (including 50 ATRs) and will expand its wings nationally and internationally.

It's unclear what exactly led to Ghosh's exit. Bhatia's letter to the employees says that Ghosh is looking to start a business venture.

But surely, it was getting top heavy at IndiGo.


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