Etihad CEO delivers surprise resignation

Etihad’s chief executive officer, Robert Strodel, has resigned just weeks after the company received its fifth Boeing 777- 300ER aircraft.

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By  Barbara Cockburn Published  June 1, 2006

Reasons for the sudden departure are unclear. Strodel had been CEO of the Abu Dhabi-based airline for only 10 months. An Etihad spokesman, who did not want to be named, said: “We cannot comment as to the reasons why Mr Strodel left the company but we will be revealing more about the situation in due course.” The departure has comes as a shock to the industry. The airline had been rapidly expanding its network, with a target of 18 aircraft by the end of this year, and is looking to acquire five aircraft for its cargo division. The departure also comes close on the heels of the recent strategic restructuring of the airline. Etihad introduce a new commercial management team in April to lead its future worldwide development. Strodel, who had been serving Etihad Airways since its formation in 2003, was appointed as the company’s CEO in July last year. Prior to that, he was in charge of the airline’s cargo and mail operations. The spokesman said Geert W. Boven has taken the reigns as acting CEO. He was originally appointed as Etihad’s vice-president for commercial operations in April. Etihad Airways has now received its fifth Boeing 777, completing its $8 billion order made in 2004. Other aircraft to be delivered this year include its first three-zone A340-500 to arrive this month. Further news includes the airline completing the implementation of an e- business transformation based on the Oracle E-business Suite.

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