Etihad Airways' Hogan to Lead Wider Group in Management Shake-Up

Etihad Airways PJSC Unveil Their First Airbus A380 Aircraft

James Hogan, left, walks beneath an Etihad Airways' Airbus A380-800 aircraft.

Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg
  • Peter Baumgartner appointed to succeed Hogan as airline CEO
  • Jeff Wilkinson named head of Etihad Airways Engineering

The parent company of Etihad Airways promoted the airline’s chief executive officer to lead the broader group, while giving his position to the chief commercial officer as part of a revamped management structure.

James Hogan becomes president and CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, having led the airline since September 2006, the Abu Dhabi-based carrier said Sunday in a statement on its website. Peter Baumgartner will take over the running of Etihad Airways.

Baumgartner, who joined Etihad in 2005, will answer to Hogan, as will Bruno Matheu, CEO of the Airline Equity Partners unit, and Jeff Wilkinson, head of Etihad Airways Engineering.

“These structural changes and appointments will ensure that we have a unified approach that links all parts of the group and provides wider strategic direction to deliver success,” Hogan said in the statement. “The new management structure will enable us to maximize opportunities for growth, revenue generation and cost control on a much bigger scale.”

Overseeing Growth

The Etihad Aviation Group was formed in 2014 and includes engineering, cargo, airport services, travel services and loyalty programs. In his new role Baumgartner, who joined from Swiss International Air Lines, will oversee the next phase of Etihad Airways’ growth including next year’s opening of the Midfield terminal at Abu Dhabi airport. Matheu, who spent two decades with Air France-KLM, will oversee Etihad’s equity investments in other carriers, including unprofitable Air Berlin.

“The intent seems clear: decentralize core management and balance responsibilities in order to effectively manage the group,” Mark Martin, head of Martin Consulting, said by e-mail.

Under the new management structure, some of the airline’s executives will take on roles at the group: James Rigney as group chief financial officer, Kevin Knight as group chief strategy and planning officer, Ray Gammell as group chief people and performance officer, and Robert Webb as group chief information and technology officer.

“This is part of a normal development of an airline into an aviation group, which has been going on for three to four years as Etihad started to make acquisitions in airlines and aviation businesses,” Diogenis Papiomytis, an analyst at consultant Frost & Sullivan Inc., said by phone, drawing similarities to Dubai’s Emirates Group.

Last month, Etihad Airways posted 2015 net income of $103 million, up from $73 million a year earlier. Sales of $9 billion were swollen by $1.4 billion from the 5 million customers its equity and code-share partners delivered onto its flights.

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