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Air France-KLM chairman blames Accor over CEO search delay

Reuters  |  PARIS 

By Gwenaëlle Barzic

PARIS (Reuters) - Anne-Marie Couderc, the of Air France KLM, has blamed for complicating and delaying the airline's search for a new chief executive, according to an internal memo seen by

The has been hunting for a new boss to fill a gap left by the abrupt departure of in May, after staff rejected a pay proposal aimed at ending strikes that have resulted in heavy losses.

In June, the French group said it was looking at taking a minority stake in the troubled group to help it compete better against offered by such as and

However, said in the memorandum to employees that AccorHotels' interest had hindered the hunt for a new

"Some of these disturbances are linked to the way has manifested its interest Air France-KLM Group" as well as by about candidates, she said.

chief Philippe Capron, initially a candidate, implicitly cited opposition from as he ruled himself out earlier this month - and suggested the company might be seeking Air France client data.

AccorHotels, which publishes half-year results later in July, declined to comment on the matter.

The memorandum added that hoped to conclude its search for a new in the coming weeks, and that it hoped to have a new leadership team fully up and running by September.

The has a stake of about 14 percent in Air France KLM, while and each hold 8.8 percent.

While some investors have said they saw some sense in a tie-up between AccorHotels and Air France-KLM, notably through co-operation on loyalty programmes, others have questioned why AccorHotels would need to buy a stake in the troubled

(Reporting by Gwenaelle Barzic; additional reporting dominiqe Vidalon; Editing by and Laurence Frost)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, July 13 2018. 18:35 IST