IAG Chief Executive Willie Walsh

This morning.

Via Sky News:

Willie Walsh, the British Airways boss who orchestrated its merger with Iberia to create International Airlines Group, is to retire after 15 years.

The company said he would step down as chief executive of IAG in March – to be replaced by Luis Gallego, who currently runs Iberia.

Mr Walsh,a former Aer Lingus pilot, took over at BA in 2005, later becoming leader of the wider group….

Boss of British Airways owner IAG to retire (Sky)

Rollingnews

21 thoughts on “Departure

        1. dav

          Hi Janet, he used to be in charge of Aer Lingus and is now in charge of the group that now own aer lingus. And he used to be in charge of british airways in-between

          1. V

            At a time when Government didn’t or couldn’t decide what to do with Aer Lingus, and amid speculation of Floating it onto the Stockmarket / Privatising the national airline, Willie Walsh led a viable Management Buyout bid for Aer Lingus.

            He was a former Pilot who worked his way to Chief Exec by graft and further studies (MBA etc), and the response from then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, who used Dáil privilege to hide it under; was something about Willie and the other two lads, Seamus Kearney and Brian Dunne (?) wanting to steal the airline’s assets and shaft the interests of the staff.

            Within 24 hours of Willie’s resignation BA headhunted him, and he would turn out to be both the youngest CEO BA ever had (at that time) and the man that returned a Dividend for the first time in years to BA’s shareholders.
            To add to that, there was some very unpleasant and mocking commentary about him in the British Press about his going from a feckie little airline to the Giant that is BA.

            He was also the first to have had full operational experience – I’ve actually being told that colleagues in BA couldn’t get to grips with his skill sets and knowledge and ability to manage all aspects of the airline, from fleet management to pilot manpower to flight and route management. Apparently he used to freak out the control rooms when he would swing by to see how things were stacking up with the dispatchers and route planners, I’m also told he piloted the test plane that went up into the Ash Cloud himself and got the Airlines back to work.

            He was an enormous talent to lose
            And when taken in context with Bertie Ahern’s own stewardship of State Assets and financial well being, along with the final financial outcome for Aer Lingus to the State, the word hypocrisy doesn’t do it justice.

            He’s still a young man in fairness, so I don’t think we’ll have heard the last of him

  1. spider

    I still don’t understand why BA, in direct competition against Aer Lingus were allowed to take it over, but Ryanair were denied on grounds of competetiveness…. It all stinks just a little bit.

    1. Rosette of Sirius

      Direct competition how? A handful of flights across the Irish Sea is hardly direct competition.

    2. Rob_G

      Ryanair taking over Aer Lingus would have given them a monopoly over the Irish market, while BA taking over Aer Lingus did not give them monopolistic control.

  2. Dr.Fart

    this is the biggest non-news piece on BS I’ve ever seen. Is he your mate or somethin, Bodge?

    1. A Person

      Good man fart, really highlighting your ignorance with that post. How is the retirement of one of the most successful Irish CEOs not newsworthy? A former pilot who became boss of one the world’s biggest airlines? Doesn’t ring a bell?

    2. V

      Well if its any help Draft

      When he resigned from Aer Lingus it was headline news
      Albeit only for a day ish
      Because he was snapped up so quickly by BA
      His going from Aer Lingus to the biggest Long Hauler (at the time) with a complex mix of shareholders
      Something he had no background in so it was a very risky investment by BA
      was headlines all around the World
      Whole segments of Business news and Current Affairs shows in every BBC station were devoted to the appointment

      And in case you missed it, another FF one that got away was Dr David McCutcheon. Dr McCutcheon was the only man in the Health Service at the time who knew how to project run, build and manage a large scale medical facility, as well blend clinical and financial/ Admin management without conflict; A very public spat with Brian Cowen (Min for Health) at the time saw him headhunted by the Canadian Health Service within hours of his resignation – barely 6 months into the opening of Tallaght. And that was headline news – despite what a contrived Deloittes report had to say about him.

      Although McCutcheon did leave some words about Brian Cowen behind – about investing in facilities but refusing to fund the running of them. And that’s what we’re looking at with the NCH btw.

      Like Willie Walsh, we could have done with David McCutcheon staying in the job he was in.
      They were ran out because they were brilliant and independent .
      And you simply can’t have that in the public and semi-State sector in Ireland

    1. Harry M

      can keep his mind occupied by sitting on some boards, i would hope to be doing so at his age also

  3. Pip

    Another, perhaps even more amazing, Irish success story is the slightly younger Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas in Oz.

    1. V

      Ah yeah
      I love hearing his press conferences and interviews

      Proper speaker and none of your PR elocution lessons insulting the listener

      Actually I think he turned down a fancy – well fancier job offer recently to stay where he is

      If I get a chance or even remember I’ll find out for sure, and throw up an update

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