Reich Quits Cargolux

Even for insiders this move comes unexpectedly: CEO Dirk Reich of Cargolux Airlines has resigned, and will leave the cargo carrier at the end of July. In a telephone conversation with CargoForwarder Global he said his stepping down from CV’s top deck is purely based on personal reasons. Richard Forson, Senior VP and CFO at Cargolux will replace Mr Reich.

Reich is leaving Cargolux  -  courtesy Guy Jallay
Reich is leaving Cargolux - courtesy Guy Jallay

The reason for his decision to depart Cargolux is quite simple, Dirk indicated: “From Mondays to Fridays I was living in Luxembourg, shuttling to Switzerland at weekends to spend my spare time with my family that lives there.” This suitcase-based relationship cannot be perpetuated eternally without risking the family going to pieces. He explicitly stressed that no alternative job offer has got anything to do with his decision. “I intend staying in the cargo business without having any precise plans yet, but precondition is that I am based in Switzerland,” the German-born top manager exclaimed. 

Helminger: “we lose an out-of-the-box thinking executive”
In an exclusive interview with CargoForwarder Global, Paul Helminger, Cargolux’s Chairman of the Supervisory Board regretted Reich’s impending departure. “We respect his decision although we are not happy about it.” Helminger went on to say that Reich has done an excellent job during his 2,5 year tenure at Cargolux. “He came on board at a time when there was great resistance against Chinese investor HNCA acquiring 35 percent in Cargolux. These fears and concerns he managed to overcome by advocating a policy of transparency.” Helminger reminded that the renewal of the collective work agreement after months of tough discussions particularly with pilots and representatives of the Grand Duchy’s conservative union Letzebuerger Chreschtleche Gewerkschaftsbond – LCGB was another major step forward that CEO Reich was ultimately responsible for, this way securing a climate of social calm within Cargolux.

Richard Forson will soon take command of the cargo carrier  -  picture: hs
Richard Forson will soon take command of the cargo carrier - picture: hs

“Because of his outstanding leadership and in view of the unlimited duration of his employment contract we would have loved to keep him on board for a longer time, but we respect his step based on personal grounds,” Mr Helminger stated.


Forson to follow Reich
He confirmed that Richard Forson will take Reich’s chair as of August 1. For the South Africa-born manager the new role is anything but unfamiliar. Before Dirk Reich was appointed Cargolux’s Chief Executive Officer, Forson was acting as the freight carrier’s interim CEO. “This time we have nominated him as permanent Cargolux Chief,” said Helminger.
As to who will replace Forson as Chief Financial Officer will be announced at the carrier’s press conference, starting at 4 p.m. today (30 June). On this occasion, Dirk Reich will also explain the reasons for his decision to exit Cargolux. 

Heiner Siegmund

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Jim Brown (Thursday, 30 June 2016)

    I have read with interest your article on Dirk Reich's departure from CV and at the same time compared it with a report from one of your competitors who more or less claim that Mr Reich was thrown out of the carrier.
    The latter is hard to believe considering what Reich achieved in the couple of years running Cargolux despite an alleged 20 million loss so far this year. Why throw out a CEO who put the airline back on track amid heavy disputes with the unions etc. Also why cause unnecessary internal misunderstandings when what the carrier needs is continuity at the top of the deck. I'd go for your version of the story. Whatever is true, a loss for Cargolux.

  • #2

    Ben (Thursday, 30 June 2016 16:27)

    "Cargolux itself said formally only that Mr Reich had asked to terminate his contract and it would give further details this afternoon."

    I think we should just wait for an official statement...