Thursday, February 24, 2022

Tatas may review Air India CEO choice if government ok delayed

Mumbai/New Delhi: Tata Sons will evaluate new leadership for Air India, including the appointment of a COO, as uncertainty looms over the security clearance for CEO-appointee IIker Ayci. Rules require an airline company to receive a go-ahead from the government before key managerial personnel take charge.

Ayci’s proximity to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is not exactly known as a friend of India, among other reasons, has created a buzz on social media ever since Tata Sons announced the Turkish national as the next CEO of Air India. “Various options will be considered, including the appointment of a COO, if there is a delay in the security clearance of Ayci,” said a source. Recruitment firm Egon Zehnder had shortlisted five professionals from five top airlines in the world. Tata Sons selected Ayci, 51, from that list.

The Turkish national is expected to take charge of Air India on or before April 1. “There is still some time. Tata Sons is watching the situation,” the source added. In the event of Ayci not getting security clearance, Tata Sons will select the next best from the remaining four for the CEO’s role in Air India. Interestingly, Ayci resigned from the chairman’s post at Turkish Airlines on January 27, the day Tata Sons took over Air India from the government.

Tatas selected Ayci for turning around Turkish Airlines. During his tenure with the carrier, it broke into the premier club of world’s top 10 airlines by market share.

24/02/22 Reeba Zachariah & Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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