British Airways chief executive Alex Cruz is to step down from his position, after four years, to be succeeded by Aer Lingus chief Sean Doyle.

Parent company IAG states that the change is part of a management reshuffle that takes place “with immediate effect”, but has not elaborated on the reasons behind it.

Cruz will remain as BA’s non-executive chairman. Doyle, who was formerly with BA for two decades, will become chairman of the airline after a transition period.

Aer Lingus chief corporate affairs officer Donal Moriarty will become interim chief executive, with a permanent successor yet to be selected.

The decisions come just a month into new IAG chief Luis Gallego’s tenure, after Willie Walsh stepped down in early September.

“We’re navigating the worst crisis faced in our industry and I’m confident these internal promotions will ensure IAG is well placed to emerge in a strong position,” says Gallego.

Cruz-Doyle-c-BA Aer Lingus

Source: British Airways/Aer Lingus

BA’s Alex Cruz (left) will be succeeded by Aer Lingus’s Sean Doyle (right)

Gallego credits Alex Cruz with having “worked tirelessly” to modernise the airline, leading it through a “particularly demanding period”.

As part of the change, the chief of budget carrier Level, Fernando Candela, will join IAG’s management committee, in the newly-created role of chief transformation officer.

Candela will continue to head Level until a new chief is found.