IAG's move to rationalise its board was driven by a need to develop a scalable structure as the airline group grows.
British Airways chief executive Keith Williams and his Iberia counterpart Luis Gallego are to step down from the IAG board in January, and add chairman duties to their respective roles at the subsidiary airlines. Current non-executive chairmen at Iberia and BA – Antonio Vázquez and Martin Broughton, respectively – will, having resigned these positions, focus on their IAG board functions. Vázquez chairs IAG. Broughton is his deputy and a senior independent director.
"The board changes are very sensible step in our governance structure," explained IAG chief executive Willie Walsh during a results conference call today. "One of the challenges we are had [when setting IAG up] was to ensure the structure was scalable. We can't keep adding [operating company] CEOs and chairmen to the main board."
IAG earlier this year added low-cost carrier Vueling to the group. "We felt we were at the point where we would rationalise the board," says Walsh. After the reshuffle, IAG's board will comprise 12 members.
"I don't see it as a big change," Walsh adds, noting that Williams and Gallego will continue to report to him, whilst an unnecessary reporting line will be removed for them by having Vázquez and Broughton focusing on their IAG roles. "They [Williams and Gallego] will clearly still attend board meetings, just not as board members. We felt a smaller board was more appropriate," says Walsh.