Germany’s leading airline has been rocked by the departure of two senior executives, prompting speculation of a rift at boardroom level. The resignations of chief financial officer Dr Karl Ludwig Kley and the chairman of the executive board of Lufthansa Cargo, Jean-Peter Jansen, has forced the airline into hurried moves to find successors, although Lufthansa denies that the resignations are either sudden, or due to reasons other than those in official statements.

“There have been no disagreements among board members, and the whole speculation is nonsense. Dr Kley was presented with a great opportunity and the decision by Jean-Peter Jansen for health reasons is not in dispute,” says the carrier.

It is thought that Dr Kley was unlikely to be a realistic candidate as successor to Lufthansa’s chairman of the supervisory board Wolfgang Mayrhuber. He has become deputy chairman of the executive board of global pharmaceutical and chemicals firm Merck, which had sales of nearly €6 billion ($7.25 billion) in 2005. Kley will join Merck in early July.

As expected, the carrier has prompted from within to fill Kley’s post, turning to Stephan Gemkow, who is a member of Lufthansa Cargo’s executive board responsible for finance and human resources.

Lufthansa appointed Stefan Lauer, Lufthansa’s chief officer aviation services and human resources, as interim chairman of Lufthansa Cargo with effect from 1 April, replacing Jansen. Lauer will also relinquish his position of chairman of the Lufthansa Cargo supervisory board, which will be filled on a temporary basis by Mayrhuber.

At the same time, Karl-Heinz Kopfle, managing director of Lufthansa City-Line, has been appointed to the Lufthansa Cargo supervisory board. Kopfle joined Lufthansa as an airline management trainee in 1968.


Source: Airline Business