BERLIN: The chief financial officer of Lufthansa is to step down at her own request to pursue other career options, the airline said on Thursday, a surprise move that comes as Lufthansa is trying to trim its cost base.
Simone Menne, aged 55, is one of the few top-ranked female executives among blue chip companies in Germany and her departure comes at a time when Lufthansa is trying to lower labour costs and expand its budget platform Eurowings to compete better with leaner rivals.
“She has been key to keeping the financial community on side as Lufthansa has tried to tackle its cost challenges,” independent aviation consultant John Strickland said in response to the statement late on Thursday.
Menne started at Lufthansa as an auditor in 1989 and has held various positions including CFO of carrier British Midland. She has been CFO of Lufthansa since July 2012 and will leave the company on Aug. 31.
Last month, she said Lufthansa, which has been hit by a series of strikes as a result of disputes over pay and conditions with pilots and cabin crew, had reached a turning point on unit costs, down by 4 percent in the first quarter.
The carrier is expecting profit before tax and interest to rise this year from the record 1.8 billion euros ($2.04 billion) reported for 2015.
Lufthansa said in a statement it regretted her decision to end her contract early, which was due to run until 30 June 2020. “She has always steered a steady course, and has never shied away from difficult decisions,” chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber said. The carrier said it would take a decision on her successor shortly.
Copyright Reuters, 2016
Courtesy : BRecorder