Lufthansa rejigs board functions after leadership change

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Lufthansa has reorganised responsibilities among its executive board members as Carsten Spohr takes over the helm at the German airline group.

Spohr replaced Christoph Franz as chief executive on 1 May. Franz had decided to step down to join Swiss pharmaceutical group Roche.

Under the board structure, Spohr will be responsible for network development across Lufthansa Group’s airlines – the mainline carrier and its low-cost arm Germanwings as well as Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines and part-owned Brussels Airlines – and their respective hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna, Zurich and Brussels.

This is in addition to the chief executive’s existing responsibility for development of the airline group as a whole and its alliances.

However, network planning and management of the individual airlines will remain in the carriers’ hands according to the “tried-and-tested principle of decentralised responsibility”, Lufthansa says.

The airline has also set up a new group executive committee effective 1 May. In addition to the senior management teams of the parent group and mainline carrier, the committee will comprise the chief executives of Lufthansa Cargo, the airline’s MRO and catering arms, and all major group carriers except Germanwings.

This is to involve the divisions in matters that affect the group as a whole at an earlier stage than in the past, and to “find a better balance” in the “field of tension” between decentralised and centralised commercial activity, Lufthansa says.

Karl Ulrich Garnadt, who has replaced Carsten Spohr in his previous post as chief executive of Lufthansa’s passenger arm, will additionally be responsible for airport and air traffic charges across the entire group.

As the airline is outsourcing administrative functions, including purchasing, to its Lufthansa Global Business Services division, the unit will be overseen by group finance chief Simone Menne.

Effective 1 January 2015, Swiss chief executive and group board member Harry Hohmeister will be in charge of IT and process management across the group in addition to his existing responsibilities.