Tim Strauss, who joined Amerijet from Air Canada Cargo to become its CEO in AUG20, will be leaving again on 17SEP21. His term ended last Friday (17SEP21) after just one year in office. Amerijet did not provide an official reason for his departure. An inquiry about the personnel matter remained unanswered.
Even for insiders, the split comes as a complete surprise because, until now, there were no visible indications of major frictions within the top management of the company concerning its network issues, product philosophy, or the U.S. carrier’s fleet policy. Forwarding agents, Amerijet’s top clients, were flabbergasted when hearing about Strauss’ forthcoming exit, as was TIACA, CargoForwarder Global was told. Disturbing is also that not even the carrier’s GSAs were informed about his departure including possible reasons for the sudden move.
Instead of explaining the reasons and background of his resignation, Amerijet's press release is unforthcoming concerning this unexpected development.
As CFG learned from confidential sources, there were apparently fundamental differences between Mr. Strauss and the carrier’s Board Members on the future strategic concept of the airline, with regard to long-term visions and missions.
These must apparently have been extremely serious or else the breakup which resembles an expulsion would not have been so sudden.
The Board needs to answer some questions
In this context, the Supervisory Board must ask itself whether an appropriate level of diligence was carried out when hiring the former Air Canada executive. Did the parties involved reach a consensus on the airline's longer-term business policy, and did they agree on a viable concept for further market positioning, fleet issues, and route policy?
Obviously not, or only marginally, because otherwise different ideas would have become apparent in the run-up to the hiring of Strauss, if there were any.
As far as his professional future is concerned, it can be assumed that the air cargo veteran will not be unemployed for long.
Speculations are mounting
However, much remains speculative at this moment in time and rumors keep simmering.
Mr. Strauss will be replaced by Vic Karjian, Amerijet International, Inc.’s Executive Chairman, who will become the airline’s Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective 18SEP21. His prime task is to search the labor market to find a new CEO for the carrier. “We are very pleased that Vic has agreed to step in as Interim CEO. Having led the Company since 2016, he is extremely familiar with the Company’s customers and operations, and will provide for continuity in the business during this interim period,” said Bob Horne, Amerijet Board Member. “The Company appreciates Tim’s many contributions over this past year, and we wish him well in his next chapter. The Board looks forward to working with Vic to continue Amerijet’s profitable growth while we search for our next CEO.”
Vic Karjian takes over, provisionally
Until the hiring of Tim Strauss in AUG20, Mr. Karjian was Amerijet’s CEO and oversaw a period of robust growth for the Company, including its receipt of ETOPS certification in MAR20 and significant expansion into ACMI and CMI charter operations. In fiscal 2020/21, which ended 30JUN21, Amerijet made the highest profit ever. It was mainly he who decided to expand the network, adding Brussels to the route map, served regularly twice a week with B767F and often thrice weekly. The flights are always sold out, reports GSA aircargonet International. “We already started to market October capacity,” a manager confirmed. According to internal sources, Amerijet plans to commence weekly operations to Milan Malpensa, which is still pending official confirmation.
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