IT has been a traumatic week for British Airways as Alex Cruz the Spanish CEO who has been in post for more than four years has been replaced by Aer Lingus CEO Sean Doyle and the company has been fined a record £20 million (€22 million) for a major data breach.
Cruz who was brought in from cheap ticket airline Vueling, another subsidiary of parent IAG, will remain as Non-Executive Chairman for a time but it appears reasonable to suspect that he is being removed because of his actions and reactions to staff during the lockdown and subsequent major reduction of international flights.
He was heavily criticised by passengers, staff, unions and MPs over his ‘fire and rehire’ programme which was eventually scrapped but the airline has lost a huge number of staff and according to Cruz he was only trying to ensure that it survived until the winter.
Sean Doyle will eventually become the Chairman of BA and he will have an interim replacement from within Aer Lingus until such time as a substantive appointment can be made.
Although BA has been hit with the highest fine ever issued by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), shareholders and company executives are breathing a sigh of relief as it was originally believed that the fine for the breach of security in 2018 (with 400,000 passenger details lost) would be in the region of £183 million (€200 million).