Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways said Tuesday its president James Hogan will step down in the second half of 2017 after leading the fast-growing Gulf carrier for more than 10 years.
The government-owned carrier said the move is part of a “transition process” initiated by the board of Etihad Aviation Group and Hogan last year.
Australian Hogan became head of Etihad in 2006. Last year he was named president and chief executive officer of Etihad Aviation Group in a restructuring process.
“I am very proud of what we have built together at Etihad and of the company’s substantial contribution to the UAE and to the development of Abu Dhabi,” Hogan said in the Etihad statement.
Hogan will join an investment company along with chief financial officer James Rigney, who will also leave the company later this year, the statement said.
“We look forward to (Hogan’s) continued association with Abu Dhabi in new ways,” Etihad Aviation Group chairman Mohamed al-Mazrouei said in the statement.
The search for a new CEO and CFO of the group is “already underway,” the statement said.
Under last year’s restructuring, the group named Peter Baumgartner as CEO of the carrier itself.
In addition to Etihad Airways, the group has a range of businesses including Etihad Cargo, and airport services.
The carrier that was launched in 2003 now has a fleet of 120 planes with 178 others on order. It serves 112 destinations.
It said last month that it has began cutting jobs in a restructuring process to reduce cost amid tough competition and a weakened global economy.
The company spoke then of a “measured reduction of headcount in some parts of the business.”
Oil-exporting Gulf countries have felt the economic pinch as their revenues nosedived after crude price tumbled from above $100 a barrel in early 2014.
Etihad has expanded rapidly and bought minority stakes in carriers around the world as it increased its share of global travel along with larger Gulf rivals Emirates and Qatar Airways.
Etihad owns 49 percent of Alitalia, 29 percent of Air Berlin, 40 percent of Air Seychelles, 19.9 percent of Virgin Australia and three percent of Irish carrier Aer Lingus.
It also has a 24-percent stake in India’s Jet Airways.