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IndiGo's CEO-appointee Taylor quits, Ronojoy Dutta likely to be next CEO

With the demise of Devdas Mallya last month, the board of IndiGo has to appoint a new chairman for passing the resolution

Arindam Majumder & Surajeet Das Gupta  |  New Delhi 

IndiGo

IndiGo’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO)-appointee has resigned from the company. Sources aware of the development said that Taylor, who was appointed senior advisor after the resignation of former president Aditya Ghosh, will leave the company at the end of December.

“Taylor has told the promoters about his plan to resign. It was communicated three days back,” said a person in the know.

While IndiGo didn’t respond to queries on the topic, sources indicated that the appointment of as principal consultant at the airline was the pressing reason. Announcing his appointment, IndiGo said he would develop a five-year plan for the airline and report to the promoter and interim CEO Rahul Bhatia.

“Taylor didn’t see a future with the company after Dutta was brought in,” an industry executive said. Dutta, who had served as president of United Airlines, also had a brief experience as CEO of Air Sahara for two years.

Business Standard has also learnt that IndiGo will seek board approval for Dutta’s appointment soon. Till then, promoter Bhatia will continue to act as interim CEO. The airline has already formed a core team of departmental heads to take decisions. With the demise of Devdas Mallya last month, the board of IndiGo has to appoint a new chairman for passing the resolution.


“The promoters are looking for someone who can lead the company for the next five years. The executives that IndiGo has brought in are all experts in their domain. They are so busy planning new destinations, improving revenue or ground services, that none of them has the time to take a top view of the airline. A CEO has to be on ground, talk to the pilots and boost the morale of the ground staff,” said a person aware of the developments.

Experts said IndiGo needs to identify a CEO due to the airline’s aggressive expansion plans. “The airline has its priorities clear. Say in the next five years, it has 450 planes… Such a large airline needs to have a candidate identified as soon as possible who can take decisions,” he said.

Taylor, a veteran at the US-based airline carrier United Airlines, is an expert at revenue management and had served as head of planning at the airline. During his career spanning 40 years, he held various roles at United and US Airways.

In 2016, he was brought into IndiGo as executive vice-president of revenue management and network planning at the behest of promoter Rakesh Gangwal with whom he had a working experience at United.


“Due to the aggressive growth plan of the airline, IndiGo was then building up a new team. Taylor, with his wide experience in network planning and revenue management, was given a team comprising people from the ranks of associate vice-president and vice-president. So when Ghosh resigned, he was announced as the CEO-appointee so that there was no power struggle in the company,” the person quoted earlier said.

Sources also said that Cindy Szadokierski, vice-president, airport operations at the airline, will also quit at the end of the March following expiry of her contract.

Taylor was also then instrumental in building up the new team at the airline. Michael Swiatek, an executive from Chile’s LATAM, was brought in as chief planning officer, William Boulter, an executive from TAAG Angola airlines, was brought in as chief commercial officer, Szadokierski was brought in as vice-president of airport operations, and Scott Brandt was appointed vice-president of corporate planning and analysis.

Following that, the airline’s old hands, including the company’s president Ghosh and chief commercial officer Sanjay Kumar quit the company.

First Published: Wed, December 12 2018. 20:51 IST
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