It has been confirmed that James Hogan will step down as CEO at Etihad later this year.
Hogan, who has been the CEO of Etihad since 2006, has built the company into to an award-winning airline and a major powerhouse with over 122 aircraft and a large 204 aircraft on order.
The news broke on last Tuesday that Hogan, along with CFO James Rigney, will both be leaving the company in the second half of 2017. Both are set to join an investment firm whose identity remains unconfirmed. The move is a step away from the aviation industry for Hogan, who before his role with Etihad was the CEO of Bahrain-based Gulf Air.
Hogan confirmed in a statement that “Along with the Board and my 26,000 colleagues, I am very proud of what we have built together at Etihad and of the company’s substantial contribution to the UAE and the development of Abu Dhabi.”
The reasons for Hogan’s departure remain unclear. Etihad under James Hogan embarked on a global expansion strategy. The development saw Etihad take minority stakes in airlines across the globe including Alitalia, Air Berlin, Air Serbia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, Air Seychelles, and Etihad Regional.
The outgoing CEO led the company to try and form the fourth Alliance “Etihad Partner Airlines” based on the minority stakes the company had acquired.
Etihad, along with the airlines it had acquired stakes in, were reconfigured in September 2016 to form the Etihad Aviation Group, which is now one of the largest in the world with equity shares in over 700 aircraft worldwide.
Over the last ten years, the company has grown under Hogan’s stewardship. The company is one of only nine airlines to have received a Skytrax five-star rating. Hogan added in his statement that “The last decade has seen incredible results, but this only represents a first chapter in the story of Etihad.”
Although Hogan will be missed at Etihad, the airline is in a strong position and should grow from strength to strength.