International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh will retire later this year, and Iberia chief executive Luis Gallego will step up to be the new leader of the airline group.
Walsh was a key figure in the creation of IAG, having served as CEO of British Airways from 2005 up to the time of its merger with Iberia in 2011. He has led the group since the merger and has made several appearances on BTN’s Top 25 Most Influential list, most recently last year for IAG’s pending acquisition of Spanish carrier Air Europa. Prior to leading BA, Walsh was CEO of Aer Lingus, where he began his aviation career as a pilot.
Walsh will step down from his role and from the IAG board on March 26, and he officially will retire on June 30, according to IAG.
“Willie has been the main driver of this unique idea that is IAG,” IAG chairman Antonio Vazquez said in a statement. “I am deeply respectful of what he has achieved as CEO of this group, of his sense of fairness, his transparency and his capacity to integrate people regardless of nationalities or backgrounds.
Gallego has served as Iberia’s CEO since 2013 and its chairman since 2014. Vazquez said he “has led a profound transformation” of the carrier and “is the right person to lead IAG in the next stage of its development.”
IAG has not yet named a successor to Gallego at Iberia.