Kreeger flattens Virgin Atlantic management structure

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Virgin Atlantic's new chief executive Craig Kreeger has flattened the airline's management structure as he works to improve the financial performance of the business and restore profitability.

His changes have resulted in several senior executives leaving the airline.

Kreeger was appointed chief executive in February, when he succeeded Virgin's long-serving boss Steve Ridgway. Kreeger says that the changes to the airline's structure followed the departure of Virgin's chief commercial officer Julie Southern in April, shortly after his appointment. Southern was seen as the prime internal candidate for the chief executive vacancy.

"After Julie chose to move on, I took that opportunity to look at the organisation, and decided to flatten it," Kreeger told Flightglobal Pro's sister magazine Airline Business for a forthcoming cover interview.

"I've eliminated one layer to help me be closer to our people who deliver customer service, and ultimately be closer to our customers. It will give me better insight into the company and hopefully help streamline how we do things."

Kreeger says he has effectively eliminated the executive director layer and reduced the total number of senior positions "to gain some efficiency and make the organisation a little flatter". This has resulted in "a couple of other exits" within the management team, he adds.

Virgin Atlantic reported a pre-tax loss of £69.9 million ($107 million) for its fiscal year ending February 2013. One of Kreeger's priorities is to reverse that loss-making status within two years, and his stated intent is to restore profitability during the fiscal year ending February 2015.