(Bloomberg) — British Airways Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruz is being replaced, just weeks after fellow Spaniard Luis Gallego took over as head of parent company IAG SA.
Sean Doyle, who has been running Irish sister carrier Aer Lingus, will take over immediately as British Airways CEO, according to a statement Monday. Cruz, 54, will stay on as chairman of the U.K. airline for a transition period, before Doyle assumes that role as well.
Cruz is leaving after being passed over in January as replacement for the group’s chief, Willie Walsh, who retired as IAG head last month after 15 years in the job. The 54-year-old Cruz joined IAG when the London-based group bought out Vueling, the discount carrier he headed.
Initially seen as a likely successor to Walsh, Cruz was criticized for the extent of cost cuts and service changes during his four years at the helm. Pilots, former staff and customers suggested British Airways’ image as a premium carrier was being tarnished — even as Walsh kept up pressure for even deeper cutbacks.
This year, Cruz clashed with unions and politicians over plans to