British Airways’ chief executive and chairman quits

British Airways’ chief executive and chairman, Alex Cruze is stepping down from the roles.

Cruze is to take the reduced role of non-executive chairman with immediate effect, and will be replaced in his current positions by Aer Lingus boss, Sean Doyle. The change at the top of BA’s hierarchy was instigated by Luis Gallego, the new chief executive of IAG, the holding company for both BA and Aer Lingus. It was Gallego’s first major announcement since taking over as IAG head from the company’s former boss, Willie Walsh. Doyle’s replacement as interim CEO at Aer Lingus will be its current chief corporate affairs officer, Donal Moriarty.

The moves come at a time when the IAG businesses, along with the rest of the civil aviation industry, are suffering a major downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on travel.

Gallego said, ‘I want to thank Alex for all that he has done at British Airways. He worked tirelessly to modernise the airline in the years leading up to the celebration of its 100th anniversary. Since then, he has led the airline through a particularly demanding period and has secured restructuring agreements with the vast majority of employees.

Sean Doyle has extensive experience at British Airways having worked there for 20 years before moving to head Aer Lingus nearly two years ago where he has done an excellent job. I am confident that will continue at British Airways.’

Alex Cruz, a 54-year old Spanish national, started his career at American Airlines in London. He was made BA CEO by Willie Walsh in 2016.

Doyle had been with Aer Lingus for nearly two years and prior to that he served 20 years at British Airways.