Alitalia appoints new CEO

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The FINANCIAL — Alitalia has appointed Cramer Ball as a member of its board of directors, designated to be appointed as Chief Executive Officer from early March 2016.

A shareholders meeting convened today, chaired by Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, has appointed Cramer Ball as a member of the board of directors, in substitution of Silvano Cassano who resigned in September, and it has designated him as the next CEO according to recommendations from the company’s Nomination and Remuneration Committee, according to Alitalia.

Since September, the Nomination and Remuneration Committee interviewed many potential candidates in collaboration with international head-hunters.  Cramer Ball’s expertise in the air transport industry, managerial skills and change management drive were the deciding factors for the decision taken today.

Cramer Ball, aged 48, has more than 20 years of aviation experience.  The proven expert at airline financial turnarounds will join Alitalia from Jet Airways of India where he was CEO and prior to that he was CEO at Air Seychelles, two  airlines where he led substantial transformation programmes.

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Alitalia’s Chairman, said: “I believe Cramer is the right person to continue leading the development and implementation of our industrial plan which is now well in motion, with a target to make the company profitable in 2017.  His proven abilities with transforming companies to success made him, among the many excellent candidates, the right choice for us.

“I would like to thank Alitalia’s board of directors and the Nomination and Remuneration Committee for the excellent work in interviewing a variety of high-calibre candidates.”

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As CEO of Jet Airways Cramer Ball lead the Mumbai-based airline to reduce substantial losses and the airline is  on track to turn a profit  in the next year.  Similarly at Air Seychelles, he led the company’s transformation into a profitable business.

Prior to his CEO roles at Jet Airways and Air Seychelles Mr Ball was Regional General Manager – South East Asia for Etihad Airways based in Bangkok and before that he was General Manager Australia and New Zealand for the UAE’s national airline based in Sydney.  He performed a similar job for Gulf Air and he was also Manager Strategic Corporate Programmes for Qantas and Commercial Sales Manager for Ansett Australia.


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