After we reported exclusively last weekend that the French PR agency, Lemon Queen has bought the British trade magazine, Air Cargo Week (ACW), we asked its new Managing Director, Steven Polmans, what practical consequences this will have for him personally, the cargo media landscape, and ACW’s focus on contents. Polmans was approached by Lemon Queen when he announced he was leaving Abu Dhabi Airports and asked if he could consider becoming the new Managing Director, which he consented following a thorough review of the matter.
Mr. Polmans commented on the following points that CargoForwarder Global put to him:
The compatibility of his current role as Chair of TIACA and that of the future Managing Director of ACW:
“I don't see myself in the traditional role of editor-in-chief as I don't feel I am a journalist overall. That job can certainly be done better by trained and experienced representatives of the industry. Rather, I see my future role at ACW as providing thematic impetus to the editorial team and helping to ensure that priority aspects for the industry, such as digitalization or sustainability, are given greater prominence in future reporting. I also think I can help the team to further grow, work together and inspire them to raise the bar and explore new opportunities.”
Possible conflict of interest as TIACA Chair and ACW MD:
“As far as TIACA is concerned: It is a voluntary function that I perform there, like the rest of the board, not a job that is paid in any way. In November, there are elections for the board. I will stand for re-election because I don't see any conflicts of interest, as I strictly separate professional or volunteer activities for instance at TIACA, from my involvement with ACW or any other customer I have. After the change at TIACA with a new governance structure and a Director General acting and performing as the CEO, the role of chair also evolved substantially anyway.
Incidentally, we will be electing a second vice president after a change of bylaws some months ago. This shift of leadership activities onto several shoulders will help future succession but also to make sure that our current governance process is clearly adhered to.”
The preservation of neutrality and equal treatment of all media by the Lemon Queen agency, also in advertising campaigns, i.e., no preference for Air Cargo Week.
“This is technically not a question I should answer, but you should ask Lemon Queen. From my side, however, I have full confidence this will be the case. I know Audrey [Serdjebi] already many years and if there was any doubt from my side that she would not manage this with the highest ethical and business standards, I would not have taken the job. Also, for myself, neutrality and reputation are my highest priorities. If it turns out otherwise, I'm out of the deal. I would like to accentuate this very clearly at this point.”
The coordination of his various activities and the management of these multiple tasks:
“I will continue to run my recently established company in the United Arab Emirates, which assists companies in the air cargo sector with strategy, business, or financial decisions, as I have done in the past weeks. In addition, assuming I am re-elected, I will continue to chair TIACA. A new assignment is my role at ACW, but it is not my ambition to become THE face of ACW. There is an established, professional, and well-staffed editorial team there that is responsible for the day-to-day business and who I count on. I don't want to have a direct influence on the editorial agenda, for example.”
The price Lemon Queen paid for ACW:
“Honestly, I don't know, I have no idea. Those are investor relations issues that I have not gotten involved in and don’t intend doing so. Both sides came to an agreement, inked by them. Full stop. The specifics are none of my business.”
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