March 29, 2023

The dismissal of the CEO of TAP Portugal airline, after the failure of the company and successive controversies

Photo: Clément Gruin/CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia

On Monday, March 6, Christine Ormeyer-Widener, CEO of TAP Portugal, was removed from her position due to the airline’s recent financial difficulties and subsequent bailout by the Portuguese government. TAP is one of the largest airlines in Europe, with more than 80 destinations worldwide.

Ourmières-Widener took over as CEO in 2021, but during his tenure the airline’s financial condition continued to deteriorate, prompting a €3.7 billion bailout by the Portuguese government. The bailout came with conditions, among them the need for TAP to implement a new strategic plan to deal with the financial difficulties.

Despite efforts to correct the airline’s course, the Portuguese government decided to remove Ourmières-Widener from office, reported the airline. The decision was taken following a review by the IGF (Inspection General of Finance) which revealed irregularities in the management of the company. The audit found that Alexandra Reis, a former member of TAP’s board of directors, had received excessive compensation in the region of half a million euros.

The Portuguese government explained that the IGF had not made any proposal to reintegrate Alexandra Reis into TAP, because part of the agreement that led to the termination of her working relationship with the airline was in force. What was considered invalid was the agreement to leave the position of manager before the end of the term, for which Alexandra Reis received about 500,000 euros. This is the amount that TAP will have to ask you to pay.

SATA’s CEO is the new president of TAP

Portugal’s Minister of Infrastructure, Joao Galamba, announced TAP’s new CEO: Luis Rodriguez, current CEO of Azores Airlines SATA, who will also serve as non-executive chairman.

According to the minister, Rodrigues is a Portuguese executive able to meet the challenges of TAP. He ran SATA under the restructuring plan also negotiated with the European Commission.

Galamba believes that the manager will be able to restore confidence in TAP and social peace in the company and continue implementing the restructuring plan.