Benjamin Smith extended until 2027, Marjan Rintel takes the helm of KLM

“These two decisions allow us to have a solid management team for the coming years,” according to the airline group, which made the announcement this Thursday morning.

Air France-KLM chief executive Benjamin Smith has extended his term until 2027, while KLM will be led by the current head of the Dutch railway company NS, Marjan Rintel, the airline group announced on Thursday.

«These two decisions established a strong management team for years to come.“, Said in a press release the Franco-Dutch company, very affected for two years like the entire aviation sector by the Covid-19 pandemic that caused it to lose more than 10,000 million euros cumulatively. “The group’s board of directors has decided to renew the mandate of Benjamin Smith as CEO of the group for an additional period of five years, that is, until the General Meeting called to approve the annual accounts for the 2026 financial year, scheduled for May. of 2027.“, specified the company.

Strategic differences between Benjamin Smith and Pieter Elbers

Benjamin Smith, a 51-year-old Canadian, assumed operational command of the group in September 2018 for a four-year term, of which he served three and a half years. Board of Directors “also approved the KLM Supervisory Board’s proposal to appoint Marjan Rintel as CEO of KLM, replacing Pieter Elbers».

Last January, the non-renewal of Pieter Elbers for a third term at the head of the Dutch company was announced, but his current term extended until May 2023. He will leave before this term, since Mrs. Rintel will assume the charged on July 1. according to the Air France-KLM press release. Strategic differences had opposed Benjamin Smith and Pieter Elbers. The latter defended the autonomy of KLM, the national flagship, when Benjamin Smith wanted greater integration with the French company. Before joining NS in 2014, Marjan Rintel “held various operational and commercial positions within KLM and Air France-KLM, for example at the Schiphol operations center or as director of strategic marketing for Air France-KLM“said the company. “Her extensive experience in the airline industry, her perfect knowledge of the group and her leadership skills have convinced the Board of Directors that she is the best candidate to continue the work of Pieter Elbers to transform KLM and make it one of the leading airlines in Europe. . , and an asset for the Air France-KLM Group as a whole“, she added.

Two Air France-KLM units are already run by women: Anne Rigail, CEO of Air France, and Nathalie Stubler, her counterpart at Transavia France. The group’s board of directors is also chaired by former French minister Anne-Marie Couderc.

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