International Airlines Group (IAG) announces that Willie Walsh has decided to retire as chief executive.
He will stand down from the role and from the Board of IAG on 26 March 2020 and will retire on 30 June 2020. Luis Gallego, currently Iberia chief executive, will succeed Willie Walsh.
It is not a surprise that Willie Walsh would go on retirement. What is a surprise is that Alex Cruz, CEO in British Airways would not get to be the one that succeed Willie Walsh. British Airways is by far the biggest airlines in IAG.
Willie has led the merger and successful integration of British Airways and Iberia to form IAG. Under Willie’s leadership IAG has become one of the leading global airline groups.’
Willie has been the main driver of this unique idea that is IAG. I hugely admire his commitment, strong leadership and clear vision, always ready to take on whatever challenges lay ahead of him. I am deeply respectful of what he has achieved as CEO of this Group, of his sense of fairness, his transparency and his capacity to integrate people regardless of nationalities or backgrounds
Antonio Vázquez, IAG chairman
Luis Gallego will be promoted to succeed Willie Walsh as CEO
Luis Gallego started his career in the airline industry in 1997 with Air Nostrum and, since 2014, he has been CEO of Iberia where he has led a profound transformation of this airline.
The IAG Board is confident that Luis is the right person to lead IAG in the next stage of its development.
It has been a great pleasure to work with Willie over the last seven years. It is a huge honour to lead this great company. It is an exciting time at IAG and I am confident that we can build on the strong foundations created by Willie.
Luis Gallego’s successor at Iberia will be announced in due course.