Etihad Aviation Group has confirmed that president and CEO James Hogan will leave the company July 1, naming chief people & performance officer and Ray Gammell as his interim replacement.

Announcing the selection May 8, Etihad said Gammell will assume “full management responsibilities” with immediate effect. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said Hogan’s permanent successor will be announced “in the next few weeks.”

Gammell joined Etihad in 2009 and has led the airline’s people strategy. Before this he accrued more than 20 years’ leadership experience, spanning roles with technology firm Intel Corporation in the US and Ireland and in the finance sector with Royal Bank of Scotland. He also spent time as an officer in the Irish armed forces. 

Etihad also announced that SVP-group treasurer Ricky Thirion will become group CFO, replacing James Rigney, who will also leave the company July 1.

Thirion has overseen Etihad Group’s treasury since he joined the company in 2007, following roles as South African Airways (SAA) group treasurer and managing director in the Standard Bank Group.

“Ray and Ricky are experienced leaders and have the complete confidence of the Board. Ray will now take full management responsibility for the Etihad Aviation Group, ensure a coordinated group approach, and continue to advance the strategic review that was initiated by the board in 2016 to reposition the business for continued development in what we anticipate being a prolonged period of challenges for global aviation,” Etihad Aviation Group chairman Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei said.

“We have strengthened our group leadership with recent appointments and are now in the advanced stages of recruitment for a new group CEO. The board has been very pleased with the caliber of candidates, and we expect to make an announcement in the next few weeks.”

Hogan has served as Etihad Airways president and CEO since September 2006 and was appointed as group CEO in 2016. Hogan’s name is synonymous with Etihad; under his leadership he has expanded Etihad from a single airline to a group of allied service organizations and airlines in which Etihad has equity stakes.

Etihad Aviation Group comprises five business divisions: Abu Dhabi flag carrier Etihad Airways, Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. The group has minority investments in seven airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.

Inset: chief people & performance officer Ray Gammell named Etihad Aviation Group CEO from July 1.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com