IndiGo chief commercial officer Sanjay Kumar quits
IndiGo chief strategy officer William Boulter will take over as chief commercial officer when Kumar leaves on 15 July
Mumbai: Low-fare airline IndiGo on Monday said chief commercial officer Sanjay Kumar has resigned, less than two months after president and whole-time director Aditya Ghosh put in his papers.
Chief strategy officer William Boulter will take over as chief commercial officer when Kumar leaves on 15 July, IndiGo said in a statement.
“The last 12 years at IndiGo have been the most satisfying and rewarding experience of my career,” Kumar said in the statement.
“I am extremely proud to have been a part of commercial success of the airline,” he said.
Kumar, who previously worked at Air Sahara and SpiceJet, and has been with IndiGo since its early days, leaves at a time when India’s largest airline has seen several new executives replace old ones as it prepares to fly overseas.
During the last 12-18 months, IndiGo has seen the entry of many expats who industry experts say were handpicked by the airline’s promoter and co-founder Rakesh Gangwal, a former United Airlines executive, to usher in the next phase of the airline’s growth.
Among them are former United Airlines executive Gregory Taylor, expected to be the airline’s next chief executive and president, former Etihad Airways executive Boulter, former Qatar Airways executive Michael Swiatek as chief planning officer, former Jet Airways and GoAir executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer as chief operating officer, and former AirAsia executive Jason Herter and Cindy Szadokierski as vice-presidents.
IndiGo also appointed former United Airlines’ executive Rohit Phillip as chief financial officer (CFO) in 2016 after Pankaj Madan quit as CFO. High-profile exits in the past few months include its corporate communications head Ajay Jasra and chief pilot training officer captain Sanjiv Bhalla, apart from Aditya Ghosh.
“The expats hired by IndiGo at its helm are better tuned to navigate IndiGo in international markets,” said Mark Martin, founder and chief executive of aviation consultants Martin Consulting Llc. “IndiGo’s emphasis will be on expanding its international operations,” he said.
An analyst tracking the sector for a foreign brokerage said the top-level changes are an indication that the airline is getting experts familiar with foreign markets on board before foraying on those routes.“The previous management, which was very much India-tuned, helped make IndiGo the largest domestic airline,” said the analyst who didn’t want to be named.
“But, the promoters probably didn’t feel that the same executives, could bring about similar growth in international markets and hence brought experienced professionals to achieve their goals,” the analyst added.
InterGlobe Aviation Ltd’s (IndiGo’s) stock closed at ₹1,173.50 per share on BSE, on Monday, down 0.95% from the previous trading day.
The benchmark Sensex closed at 35,470.35, down 0.61%
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