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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Iberia CEO Resigns

Rafael Sanchez-Lozano, CEO of Spanish carrier Iberia, announced his resignation Wednesday following a year of profit losses and months of employee strikes over job and salary cuts.

London-based International Airlines Group (IAG), parent company of Iberia, said Sanchez-Lozano’s resignation was a mutual agreement, and that his resignation will take immediate effect. The former Iberia CEO will also step down from his post on the IAG board as well.

"I would like to thank Rafael for his hard work and commitment to Iberia. He has led the airline through a very difficult period in the midst of a deep recession and has completed the first important step towards returning the airline to profitability,” said Willie Walsh, chief executive at IAG.

Iberia posted a $450 million annual loss in 2012, and had recently planned to cut more than 3,000 jobs and reduce salaries by 20 percent. The airline’s union pilots, cabin and grounds workers staged strikes in February and March after learning of their employer’s plans. The two sides were able to reach an agreement with a government-appointed mediator earlier this month.

Sanchez-Lozano, who was appointed Iberia CEO in 2009, will be replaced by Luis Gallego, CEO of low cost carrier Iberia Express.

"I have been proud to lead Iberia for over three years. It has been a privilege to work for such a great company. After reaching agreement with the mediator and the majority of our unions, we have achieved an important milestone as we restructure the airline. The company is now entering a new phase and it is time for me to pass on the baton to my successor,” said Sanchez-Lozano. More

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