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Air France-KLM replaces CEO, aims for recovery

18-Oct-2011 11:04 AM

Air France-KLM confirmed CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon has resigned and been replaced by chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta on an interim basis, a position Mr Spinetta previously held following the merger between Air France and KLM in 2003. According to wire reports, Mr Spinetta will remain chairman during his post as CEO.

Air France-KLM acknowledged that it has fallen behind rivals due to its high cost base, high debt levels and increasing competitions. The board said that recovery and the improvement of performance would be its "top priority." Leo Van Wijk, who together with Mr Spinetta were architects of the merger, will be deputy CEO of Air France-KLM. Alexandre de Juniac, who previously held senior positions in the French Finance Ministry and Thales, has been confirmed as CEO of Air France.