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Two British Airways executives step down following the airline's first strike in decades

Ben Winck , Business Insider US
 Feb 17, 2020, 10:49 AM
A British Airways plane.
  • British Airways' chief operating officer and people director are leaving the company in the wake of a tense pilot walkout in September, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
  • The departures came as the airline's parent firm, International Consolidated Airlines Group, transitions to a new CEO.
  • The departing COO oversaw BA's pilots during their two-day walkout last year. The strike affected roughly 200,000 travelers and was the airline's first in 40 years.
  • Visit Business Insider SA's homepage for more stories.

Two key executives at British Airways are leaving the airline after a tense faceoff between pilots and company leadership sparked its first strike in four decades, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

Chief Operating Officer Klaus Goersch and People Director Angela Williams will leave the company as its parent firm, International Consolidated Airlines Group, transitions to a new CEO. Williams led the airline's industrial relations while Goersch was in charge of British Airway's pilots, according to The Journal.

"We have made some changes in our leadership team to put us in the best possible position to deliver the next phase of our £6.5 billion customer and colleague investment, and to meet the challenges of the digital economy and changing consumer needs," British Airway told The Journal in a statement.

The shakeup follows a pilot walkout in September that crippled the company's operations over two full days. The airline canceled roughly 1,700 flights during the walkout, affecting about 200,000 travelers. The demonstration was fueled by disagreements over pilots' pay and benefits. The workers' union alleged that British Airway made huge profits on poorly paid pilots who helped keep the firm afloat while it faced tough times.

The strike was British Airway's first in nearly 40 years, according to The Journal.

British Airway has appointed former Director of Engineering Jason Mahoney as its new COO, while Stuart Kennedy, former people director at IAG Cargo, will replace Williams, the company told The Journal.

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