Alitalia appoints a new management team to turnaround the airline

Alitalia logo

Alitalia (2nd) (Rome) with the new investment and partnership with Etihad Airways (Abu Dhabi), is making changes at a rapid pace. This turnaround now includes a whole new management team. This new team will lead the turnaround at the flag carrier. The airline yesterday issued this statement:

Alitalia, Italy’s leading airline, on December 5 announced a new management team, who will implement a major turnaround strategy to develop the carrier into a competitive, sustainably profitable business, under the leadership of its recently appointed Chief Executive Officer Silvano Cassano.

The appointments are effective from January 1, 2015 as part of a new, recapitalized Alitalia entity that is being established following a landmark €1,758 million investment in the airline, which includes Etihad Airways’ acquisition of a minority shareholding.

Giancarlo Schisano has been appointed as Chief Operations Officer of Alitalia, having worked in a number of roles at the airline since 2005, including Executive Vice President Cargo and most recently Deputy General Manager Business.

He will be responsible for operational performance, safety and security including leading the functions of flight operations, engineering and maintenance and ground operations, safety and quality.

Duncan Naysmith has been named Chief Financial Officer of Alitalia and joins from Etihad Airways, where he served as Vice President of Financial Reporting. He will play an instrumental role in Alitalia’s new business plan, with responsibility for the airline’s finance, treasury, supply chain and property.

Antonio Cuccuini has been confirmed as Chief People and Performance Officer from his current role as Alitalia’s Executive Vice President of Human Resources. He will be responsible for Alitalia’s entire HR function and will support the airline’s turnaround strategy through key activities such as HR management and development, compensation and benefits, and labour cost planning and controlling.

Also part of the team, as previously announced, is Ariodante Valeri who will serve as Chief Commercial Officer. Mr Valeri, who has more than 30 years of transportation and consumer industry experience, most recently served as General Manager at Grandi Navi Veloci. He commenced his new role at Alitalia on 1 October 2014 and leads the airline’s sales and marketing operations.

Aubrey Tiedt has been appointed to the new position of Chief Customer Officer and has over 20 years of aviation experience, including her most recent position as Vice President Guest Services at Etihad Airways. She will lead a transformation in the end-to-end travel experience to reposition Alitalia as a world class customer-centric airline.

John Shepley has been appointed as Alitalia’s Chief Planning and Strategy Officer, with responsibility for pricing, capacity and revenue management, route and network planning, alliances and fleet. The aviation veteran has previously served in senior executive roles at Etihad Airways, Jetstar Airways and Gulf Air.

Recruitment is still underway for a Chief Information Technology Officer who will report to the CEO.

The new management team will report directly to Alitalia’s Chief Executive Officer Silvano Cassano, who has over 35 years of senior management experience across a variety of industries and has previously served as Chairman and CEO of Italian shipping company Grandi Navi Veloci, CEO of global fashion brand Benetton Group, CEO of Fiat Auto Financial and Consumer Services, and Vice President European Operations at Hertz Europe.

Mr Cassano said: “Our new management team consists of seasoned, world-class executives with the experience, skills and determination needed to bring our ambitious turnaround strategy to fruition. Together, we will work with our stakeholders, employees, trade unions and the government to ensure that the unprecedented opportunities being presented through Alitalia’s recapitalisation are fully realised”.

“Our comprehensive new business plan has a target of sustainable profitability from 2017, which we will achieve by developing a revitalised brand with a premium ‘Made in Italy’ concept, that will provide Italian travellers with improved connections worldwide, drive increased inbound tourism into the country, support Italy’s economic growth, and safeguard thousands of Italian jobs.”

Identify the airliner:

Alitalia Savoia Marchetti SM 95 D-DALO (Rome-Ciampino)(Alitalia)(LR)

Answer: Savoia Marchetti SM 95, registered as I-DALO, and named “Ugolino Vivaldi”, on the tarmac at Rome’s Ciampino Airport ready for departure (Alitalia).

Alitalia (1st) aircraft slide show: