Barely seven months after being appointed as the chief executive officer (CEO) of Jet Airways, India’s second-largest airline by market share, Gary Kenneth Toomey resigned on Thursday.
Sources said Toomey, whose appointment as CEO was announced in mid-June last year, had taken charge of the airline only in September and his resignation was on expected lines as Etihad Airways, which owns a 24% stake in Jet Airways, wanted their own nominee as the CEO.
Toomey’s exit follows that of Jet Airways veterans, chief commercial officer Sudheer Raghavan and vice-president KG Vishwanath — both had quit after the Etihad deal.
“For last one month there had been rumours that Toomey was on his way out,” a source said. Toomey, 58, an Australian national, had been appointed for a three-year period.
While the airline did not offer any comments on the reasons behind Toomey’s exit, Jet Airways informed the Bombay Stock Exchange: “Toomey had resigned with immediate effect” and “Ravishankar Gopalakrishnan, the chief financial officer, will officiate as the acting CEO of the company till the board identifies and appoints a new CEO”.
Toomey’s appointment was followed by the resignation of Nikos Kardassis, who left the airline after serving two terms as CEO, initially between 1993 and 1999, and again from October 2009 till May 2013.
Toomey had previously served as president and CEO of the Air New Zealand Group and as CEO of Airlines PNG in Papua New Guinea. He had also worked with Qantas Airways and Australian Airlines.
The airline’s shares marginally rose to close at `268 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Thursday.