New Delhi: Special secretary and financial adviser in the civil aviation ministry, Raghu Menon has been appointed the chairman and managing director (CMD) of Air India, ending weeks of speculation.
The appointments committee of the Union cabinet of ministers approved Menon, a 1974 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Assam-Nagaland cadre, after a keen race for the top job in the National Aviation Co. of India Ltd (Nacil), which runs the merged national carrier. There were 51 aspirants for the post.
Menon, who became a joint secretary in the ministry in October 2002, takes over from V. Thulasidas, a Tripura cadre IAS officer who retires on 31 March. The post of Nacil CMD is equivalent to an additional secretary in the government.
Menon has earlier served in the information and broadcasting ministry.
The candidates for the top job at Air India also included the airline’s present joint managing director Vishwapati Trivedi, Arvind Mayaram of the department of economic affairs and Arvind Jadhav, chief vigilance officer of GAIL (India) Ltd.
Several names had been doing the rounds for the past several weeks for the top job at Air India. There was speculation that Thulasidas’ tenure would be extended for three months to oversee the merger of state-owned carriers Air India and Indian.