Lufthansa confirms new chief executive

Carsten Spohr to be new CEO of German giant

The Supervisory Board at Deutsche Lufthansa AG has appointed Carsten Spohr, 47, as its future chief executive and chairman of the executive board.

Spohr currently oversees the business segment Lufthansa Passenger Airlines in his capacity as board member. He will assume his new role on May 1.

Outgoing CEO Christoph Franz said last September that he would resign to become chairman of the supervisory board at the Swiss pharmaceuticals company Roche.

Franz, 53, had been criticised by employees for wringing savings out of the airline in an effort to raise operating profits to €2.3 billion euros by 2015. That included 3,500 job cuts with less generous retirement benefits. Anger over this may have pushed him to leave after just three years in the job.

After graduating with a degree in industrial engineering, Carsten Spohr qualified for a commercial airline pilot’s license from the Lufthansa Flight Training School. He also holds a Lufthansa captain’s license.

He spent a short time at Deutsche Aerospace in Munich before returning to Lufthansa in October 1994 to head central personnel marketing. Between 1995 and 1998, he worked as a personal assistant to the CEO.

In 1998, he assumed responsibility for regional and later for the company’s global partnerships including the Star Alliance. In 2004, he was appointed to the management board of Lufthansa Passenger Airlines where he was responsible for service and staff. In 2007, he was appointed chairman of the executive board of Lufthansa Cargo AG.

Spohr has been a member of Lufthansa’s executive board and CEO of the Lufthansa passenger business since January 2011.


[pictured: Carsten Spohr; photo courtesy Lufthansa]

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