Amid the worst financial crisis in the history of Lufthansa, the Group’s Executive Board has announced personnel changes at the top of three of its subsidiaries. Lufthansa Cargo CEO, Peter Gerber (56), will become the new chief of Brussels Airlines (SN). The 56-year old will be succeeded by the freight carrier’s current Chief Commercial Officer, Dorothea von Boxberg (46), on 01MAR21. Prior to this, on 01JAN21, Brussels Airlines’ helmsman Dieter Vranckx will assume the role of CEO at Swiss, following Thomas Kluehr, who will leave the company.
Standard rotation policy
Commenting on the personnel changes, Lufthansa’s Supervisory Board pronounced in a statement that the three appointments are part of the Group-wide rotation policy for leading management positions, thus not related to the ongoing dire financial situation the airline is facing caused by COVID-19 effects.
In a release, Lufthansa Cargo points out that Peter Gerber’s main task at SN will be to continue implementing the Belgian airline’s “Reboot Plus” restructuring plans aimed at again achieving profits through a stronger, leaner, and more competitive airline. His appointment still needs the approval of the Board of Directors of SN Airholding, which is considered simply a formality. Provided the SN chiefs consent his nomination, he will head SN’s future leadership team to which Nina Oewerdieck, CFO of Brussels Airlines, and Edi Wolfensberger, COO of the Belgian airline belong. In addition to Gerber’s role as the new CEO of SN, he will assume the newly created position of Lufthansa Group Chief Representative for European Affairs in Brussels, thus representing the interests of the entire Lufthansa Group at European level.
Lufthansa Cargo powered by Female Power
With Gerber’s forthcoming exit, Lufthansa Cargo will be headed by a female executive for the first time in its history. Overall, this will strengthen the role of women in the cargo airline, which previously also appointed Jacqueline Casini to take over responsibilities for corporate communications and marketing, following a line of male leads such as Dietrich Seidel, Nils Haupt, Thomas Jachnow, Matthias Eberle or Michael Goentgens.
Mrs. von Boxberg, a graduate from TU Berlin and ESCP Paris, began her professional career in 1999 in strategic management consulting at The Boston Consulting Group in Stuttgart. She then held leading roles in various industries and several countries. After joining Lufthansa, she and her team were responsible for developing the Premium Economy Class, which was launched at the end of 2014 and which laid the foundation for Lufthansa to become a 5 Star Airline. In 2015, Mrs. von Boxberg joined Lufthansa Cargo, where she is currently Chief Commercial Officer.
Back to the Alpine carrier
The management reshuffle includes Dieter Vranckx (47), currently CEO of Brussels Airlines, who will become CEO of Swiss International Air Lines, assuming his new duties on 01JAN21. He succeeds Thomas Kluehr, who will leave the company as planned at the end of the year.
Mr. Vranckx, who holds dual Belgian and Swiss citizenships, has held several senior positions within the Lufthansa Group since 2001. Between 2010 and 2013, he was Regional Director USA Midwest and Canada at Lufthansa Cargo and based in Chicago, followed by leading roles at Swiss in Zurich and Singapore. In 2018, he joined Brussels Airlines as CFO, and in 2020, he took over as CEO.
He will soon be moving back to Zurich again to navigate the Swiss airline and its cargo division headed by Ashwin Bhat as safely as possible through the current aviation crisis.
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