Wednesday, March 09, 2022

Tata Sons all set to announce new CEO for Air India to replace Ilker Ayci

New Delhi: Tata Sons is expected to announce a new chief executive officer (CEO) for Air India in the next few days after its first choice Turkey’s Ilker Ayci declined the job amid controversies regarding his appointment.

Citing officials, ET reported that the Tata group has finalised the new appointee after holding talks in the last few days. The Mumbai-based coffee-to-cars conglomerate wants the airline’s new boss to take charge as soon as possible and fix the operational issues.

Last month, Tata Sons had announced the appointment of Ayci, former chairman of Turkish Airlines, as the CEO of Air India. He, however, turned down the role because of his previous political links. Ayci was supposed to assume office on April 1.

Earlier, Ayci was an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he was the mayor of Istanbul in 1994. Erdogan, a close Pakistan ally, had he had made adverse remarks about the dilution of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

Recruitment firm Egon Zhender had selected a couple of candidates for Air India’s corner office including that of Ilker Ayci. “The group went back to the list of other equally qualified candidates for a replacement to Ayci. They are keen on not wasting more time on the appointment. The board and chairman will be announced shortly after the CEO announcement,” an official with direct knowledge of the matter told the financial daily.

After the appointment of a CEO, the new board of Air India also will be announced, it is learnt.

Alex Cruz, a former British Airways CEO, has been rumoured to have been approached for the job. At present, there is no confirmation on the same.

09/03/22 ET Now

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