Qatar Airways has announced the appointment of a new CEO following the sudden resignation of Akbar Al Baker after 27 years in the role as the group’s chief executive.
Badr Mohammed Al-Meer will succeed Al Baker on November 5, with the latter also stepping down from his role as chairman of Qatar Tourism.
Though no reason has been given for Al Baker’s departure, the company highlighted his achievements during his time in the role, including the airline’s success at the Skytrax “World’s Best Airline” awards, where it has won seven times.
The former CEO has been an outspoken leader in the aviation industry during his time in his role, bringing controversy after comments on gender equality in the industry and net zero goals, which he said were a PR exercise.
Al Baker subsequently apologised for saying that Qatar Airways had to be led by a man as the CEO role was a “very challenging position”, later saying that he would have been happy to “help develop a female candidate to be the next CEO”.
His successor has recently been the chief operating officer of Hamad International Airport and oversaw its recent expansion plans designed to bring passenger capacity up to 58 million a year.
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Qatar Airways recently reported record revenues for the 2022/2023 fiscal year, with a net profit of $1.21bn, up 45% year on year. Passenger revenue also increased by 100% as the airline carried 31.7 million passengers through the year.