The Etihad Aviation Group Board of Directors on Wednesday announced that James Hogan will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company in the second half of 2017. The Board and Hogan first initiated the transition process last year with the formation in May of the Etihad Aviation Group, a diversified global aviation and travel organisation.
Hogan took the helm at Etihad Airways in 2006, with a mandate to develop a safe, best-in-class airline, operating on a sustainable commercial basis and contributing to the future economic success of Abu Dhabi.
Commenting on Mr. Hogan’s time at Etihad, Etihad Aviation Group Chairman Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei said: “In just ten years, he has overseen the growth of the company from a 22 plane regional carrier into a 120 aircraft global airline and aviation group, with seven airline equity partnerships (Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, airberlin, Alitalia, Etihad Regional, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia) which together serve more than 120 million guests every year.
The news of Hogan’s departure comes as the Abu Dhabi carrier continues to face losses from its investments in European airlines Air Berlin and Alitalia. Etihad bought a 29 percent stake in Air Berlin in 2011 and a 49 percent stake in Alitalia in 2014.
According to Mohammad Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazroui, Etihad’s Board and management team will carry out 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.”
On his part, Hogan commented: “Along with the Board and my 26,000 colleagues, I am very proud of what we have built together at Etihad and of the company’s substantial contribution to the UAE and to the development of Abu Dhabi. The last decade has seen incredible results but this only represents a first chapter in the story of Etihad.”
Hogan will join an investment company along with Etihad Aviation Group CFO James Rigney, who will also leave the company later this year.
According to Etihad, a global search for a new Group CEO and a new Group CFO is already underway.