CargoForwarder Global has received a copy of a press release which is meant to be made public today in which it is stated that the long-serving President & CEO of Worldwide Flight Services, Olivier Bijaoui, has departed the company.
A surprise move
The release only shortly refers to Olivier’s departure and concentrates more on who has temporarily taken over his duties.
Why this sudden departure?
It certainly comes as a surprise considering Mr Bijaoui’s background and the work he has put into making WFS what it is today.
He was instrumental in the buildup of the company into one of the world’s leading cargo handling entities and provider of ground handling services.
Could it be that Olivier Bijaoui and the new owners, Platinum Equity do not see eye to eye on how the company should move forward after the Platinum takeover?
If so, surprising, as Olivier was confident that with the financial backing expected from Platinum, that the company would continue on its road to acquisitions.
The first move after the new owners came on board was to acquire a majority shareholding in Fraport Cargo Services, which was then renamed Frankfurt Cargo Services.
Secondly, Consolidated Aviation Services (CAS) probably the leading air cargo handler in the USA was acquired by WFS in February of this year.
The road to expansion seemed to be endless
The WFS press release states that Barry Nassberg, WFS Chief Operating Officer will assume interim leadership responsibilities until a replacement is found.
Barry has been with WFS for more than 20 years and has worked side-by-side with Olivier on various projects over the past years.
Are there internal candidates for the CEO position?
One wonders whether Platinum will consider members of WFS’s management as replacements for Mr Bijaoui or whether they will look outside of the box.
Names such as John Batten, Martin Meyer and Barry Nassberg spring to mind.
But, would they want to or would Platinum prefer another direction?
Bastian Luken, head of the European investment team at Platinum Equity states that “teams throughout the company are performing at a high level with an intense focus on serving customers. We are pleased with the direction the company is headed and are fully committed to supporting its long-term strategic plan.”
If this is the case - then why the sudden departure of the very man who was until now responsible for the steering process?
John Mc Donagh