Kevin O'Toole/LONDON

BRITISH AIRWAYS chief executive designate Bob Ayling has unveiled his keenly anticipated boardroom reshuffle, apparently putting the emphasis on managing the carrier's alliance strategy.

The number of senior executives reporting directly to the chief executive has been slimmed down, from 25 to only 11 posts, of which at least two are specifically concerned with strategy.

Roger Maynard moves from his post as director of corporate strategy to take up a more specific role as director of investment and acquisitions, sitting on the board of USAir and Australian national carrier Qantas. His previous role, is being filled by John Patterson, who was previously, director of operational performance.

A third full-time post outside the main board has been created to develop the UK carrier's "interests with USAir". The position goes to John Watson, who will also report directly to Ayling. "He will be looking at how best the alliance with BA can consolidate USAir's return to profitability," says the group.

Among the promotions, Alistair Cumming moves from heading BA Engineering to become the group's chief operating officer and director of profit development, which includes responsibility for the growing engineering and cargo businesses.

Another promotion means that David Holmes, who led BA's lobbying effort in Europe as head of government and industry affairs, becomes director of corporate resources.

Despite the slimming down programme, Ayling's reshuffle has not produced the feared rash of job losses, although there have been casualties.

Capt. Jock Lowe is stepping down as director of flight operations, to go back to line duties and to be senior captain on the Concorde fleet.

His brief for the flight crew will now come within the new post of operations director, which goes to Mike Street, formerly director of customer service.

Source: Flight International