The Etihad Aviation Group Board of Directors has announced that James Hogan will step down as President and CEO of the company in the second half of 2017 — the latest step in a a transition process initiated last year with the formation in May of the Etihad Aviation Group.
Over a period of 10 years, Hogan (now 60) steered the company as it grew from a 22-plane regional carrier into a 120-aircraft global airline and aviation group, with seven airline equity partnerships which together carry more than 120 million passengers a year.
H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of the Etihad Aviation Group, suggested strategic changes may be on the horizon as he declared that the group would need “more agility and added focus as Etihad enters the next phase of its development.”
He commented: “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.”
The company currently has minority equity investments in a range of airline partners – Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, airberlin, Alitalia, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia.
AirBerlin and Alitalia are both engaged in major restructuring efforts. 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.
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.