New leaders have inherited the challenges that face Varig and TAM.

TAM's former chief financial officer, Marco Antonio Bologna, has become the airline's new president. Antonio Luiz Teixeira de Barrosan has been interim president since Daniel Mandelli resigned last August. Teixeira stays on as TAM's vice-president. Bologna, 48, was TAM's chief financial officer for two years ending last May and joined TAM's board last October.

His counterpart at Varig, Carlos Luiz Martins, has retained his senior Varig post, but has resigned as president of the council that runs the Ruben Berta Foundation, Varig's controlling shareholder. Over the past two years, turnover in the foundation's senior management has usually signalled in-fighting over the proposed merger with TAM. For two reasons that does not seem to be the case this time.

First, by statute, the foundation's president cannot also hold an executive position. Martins is Varig's executive vice-president and chairman of the three-person executive committee that has run Varig since it abolished the post of president last year. Hence, Martins needed to choose which position he would keep. Ernesto Miguel Fazolin Zanata succeeds him as head of the foundation.

Second, Martins says he wants to focus more on Varig's restructuring, and specifically relations with the government over Varig's proposed integration with TAM.


Source: Airline Business