Former Air Berlin manager Goetz Ahmelmann becomes new CEO of Leipzig-Halle and Dresden Airport. Long-time executive board member Markus Kopp will leave the company. Former CEO Johannes Jaehn as well as the Holding’s chief representative Dieter Koehler continue to belong to the management team of the group.
There were rumors swirling around Leipzig and the East German state of Saxony since weeks about forthcoming management changes at the East German Airport Holding. But despite the talking and
speculations Monday's meeting (17 Sep) of the Supervisory Board ended with a major surprise: The result is nothing less than a vote of no confidence by the controllers against the Holding’s
current management, this, however, in a graduated form.
An aviation veteran takes over
According to the controller’s decision, Goetz Ahmelmann will become new CEO of Holding Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG and at the same time assume the top rank at the airports Leipzig-Halle and Dresden.
47-year-old Ahmelmann is anything but new in aviation, holding leading management positions at Lufthansa, Etihad and Air Berlin.
He will take on his new assignment in mid-October. In his new role as CEO he will also be responsible for the Holding’s marketing and sales activities.
Ahmelmann replaces Johannes Jaehn who will stay on board as member of the executive management level but in a rather subordinate role.
In comparison to Jaehn, the controller’s decision is especially bitter for board member Markus Kopp who lost his job and will leave the Holding to an unspecified date in the coming months. His current contract expires on 31 March 2019, but local observers believe that he will not remain in office until then.
Nothing except expenses
The supervisors did not deliver any explanation for the ousting of Kopp. But it is believed that the ongoing stagnation of passenger numbers has led to his dismissal.
Another decisive point in this context might have been his obvious dislike of critical media representatives which did not necessarily help the reputation of the East German Airport
Finally, the fact that he signed numerous cooperation agreements with other airports, including Kansai, Shenzhen, Shanghai or the South African Airport Association without attracting a single airline linking Leipzig-Halle with one of the airports. These reasons mentioned may have prompted the supervisors to deny him a prolongation of his contract.
Surely an honorable intention by him to put particularly Leipzig’s name on the global map, but travel expenses were the only visible result of Kopp’s many visits and flights back and forth.