Calin Rovinescu - Air Canada

Calin Rovinescu - Air Canada

A different beat

Along with wearing many hats since first joining Air Canada in 2000 as executive vice-president, corporate development and strategy, Calin Rovinescu has also been substantially involved in other areas like finance, law and investment banking during his career.

“I think that a lot of people who are leaders in businesses that they did not grow up in have a unique opportunity to bring the company to a different place… and when you look at some of the financings that have occurred… I guess I was less married to any particular notion of the way things were done,” he says.

Rovinescu advised the carrier on its 1989 privatisation and acquisition of Canadian Airlines as a lawyer at a Montreal-based firm. He joined Air Canada just months after it took control of Canadian Airlines in December 1999. He continued to serve with the airline as it filed for creditor protection in April 2003, and served as chief restructuring officer between 2003 and 2004.

But Rovinescu decided to switch things up: he resigned from his post as chief restructuring officer in April 2004 to co-found investment firm Genuity Capital Markets.

But experience working outside of the aviation industry has allowed Rovinescu to take creative approaches to problems the airline has faced, he says.

“I think that sometimes you can get too insular if you only have surrounded yourself with people who are from your industry. Having said that, I have tremendous talent around me. Tremendous talent at the leadership team comes from both inside the industry and outside the industry.”

Key Facts:

  • 2012 operating revenue $11,965m.

  • Down 1.3%.

  • Ranked 20th in the Airline Business financial rankings.

  • Ranked 16th by traffic.

  • Load factor (2013) 82.8%.