Tony Douglas, former CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, has been appointed CEO of Etihad Aviation Group, according to a statement released by the company.
Douglas was previously CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports Company, before he left in 2016 to join the UK Ministry of Defence as CEO of the Defence Equipment and Support department. The department is responsible for procuring and supporting all the equipment and services for the British Armed Forces.
Douglas has also served as CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports Company where he was tasked with the delivery of Khalifa Port.
He takes over from Ray Gammel, interim CEO, who was appointed after the departure of James Hogan earlier this year.
EAG is currently in the midst of a major strategic shift which has seen it replace top level management at a number of its divisions including Etihad Airways Engineering and its Equity Partners division.
Hogan's exit was seen as a decision by the board at Etihad to move away from its established airline equity strategy which had involved buying stakes in struggling airlines around the world in the hope of reaping profits after turning them around. Earlier this year, Etihad pulled the plug on further financing for Airberlin and Alitalia, resulting in them filing for insolvency. Etihad's stakes in both airlines contributed in large part to the US$1.87 billion loss it posted for the year, its largest ever.
Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of Etihad Aviation Group, says: “We are delighted to have Tony return to Abu Dhabi to lead Etihad. He has guided the transformation of large organisations in the UAE and the UK, and he understands the UAE and the region. He is also deeply knowledgeable about commercial aviation and keenly familiar with Etihad’s challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing industry.”
“Etihad is a force in global aviation that must continue to adapt and evolve on its own and with industry partners," says Douglas. "It is an economic and employment engine for the UAE and the region. With new infrastructure and attractions like the expanded airport, Louvre Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi Global Market, Etihad has a central role in supporting the UAE’s position as a global hub of transportation, tourism, commerce, and culture.”
Ray Gammell will return to his position as Group Chief People & Performance Officer and be part of Douglas' leadership team which will include Ricky Thirion, interim group CFO; Kevin Knight, group chief strategy and planning officer; Mana Mohamed Saeed Al Mulla, chief group support services officer; Henning zur Hausen, general counsel; and Amina Taher, VP corporate affairs.
The divisional CEOs will report directly to Mr. Douglas, including Peter Baumgartner, CEO of Etihad Airways; Chris Youlten, MD of Etihad Airport Services; Abdul Khaliq Saeed, CEO of Etihad Airways Engineering; Gavin Halliday, MD of Hala Group; and Robin Kamark who joins as CEO, Airline Equity Partners in October 2017.