Monarch will not replace Conrad Clifford

Monarch will not replace Conrad Clifford

The Monarch Group has decided not to replace former chief executive Conrad Clifford and has revealed a number of changes to its management structure.

Iain Rawlinson (pictured), who assumed responsibility for the group following Clifford's abrupt departure in February, will continue to lead the business as executive chairman.

Rawlinson told Travel Weekly: "We did start the process of looking for a new chief executive but while we were in that process we came to the conclusion that it was more important to focus on stability and continuity.

"We are five months into the current financial year and the turnaround plan is going exactly according to plan. So the feeling was we didn't want to disturb the current management structure."

In other management changes, Robert Palmer has been appointed group finance director, taking over from Simon Tucker who is leaving the company.

Palmer was previously group finance controller at easyJet and chief finance officer at British Midland International. He joined Monarch as a consultant in September 2011, focusing on the delivery of the airline's turnaround plan. More appointments to the finance team will be announced shortly.

Richard Mintern, group chief operating officer, has also decided to leave the group at the end of May to take up a chief executive role elsewhere.

Monarch plans to appoint two non-executive directors and is in "advanced discussions" with candidates.

Monarch announced a £75 million refinancing deal in November 2011 and a turnaround plan was put in place to return the airline to profitability. Rawlinson said this process should be complete by the end of 2013.

Part of the plan will be to retire the A300 and Boeing 757 aircraft over the next three years and replace them with new or "nearly new" narrow-body aircraft. A tendering process between Boeing and Airbus will begin in the summer.

Rawlinson said: "We are making good progress to date in implementing our turnaround plan and we are starting to see the benefits of our work in driving revenue, better asset utilisation and cost reductions coming through in results.

"We continue well on our path to improved financial performance, and we are keen to maintain consistency and stability in the top team as we deliver our current year results.  We are making no changes in the senior management of the divisions, and we are streamlining Group functions to provide a lean and efficient structure."


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