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France Aviation

KLM Boss Pieter Elbers re-appointed, but under tighter supervision.

Air France and KLM aircrafts stand parked at Schiphol Airport, Netherlands
Air France and KLM aircrafts stand parked at Schiphol Airport, Netherlands Robin Utrecht / ANP / AFP

The board of directors of Air France-KLM proposed Tuesday to re-appoint Pieter Elbers, the chairman of the board of KLM. The group announced that the decision was made after the Dutch branch of the group expressed concerns about possible strikes if the mandate of their boss would not be renewed.


In a statement, the group said it wants to “improve governance and simplify structure," announcing the creation of a “CEO Committee” that is to be chaired by Benjamin Smith, the CEO of Air France-KLM.

Apart from Smith, the “CEO Committee” will consist Pieter Elbers (CEO KLM), Anne Rigail (CEO Air France) and Frédéric Gagey (CFO Air France-KLM). The three of them will report directly to Benjamin Smith.

The re-appointment of Elbers had become increasingly politicized, writes Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. The Group’s board of 19 directors is dominated by the French, with only five Dutch.

Elbers is popular with KLM employees who lobbied for a continuation of his mandate that resulted in two Dutch ministers having “serious conversations” with Smith.

Elbers’ position is now secured, but he will have to work closer together with Smith, who just last month had indicated he didn’t want to continue with Elbers.

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