CEO Tewolde Gebremariam is leaving Ethiopian Airlines due to medical conditions. He has been in the United States for six months now.
Ethiopian Airlines on Wednesday announced that the Board of Directors has accepted CEO Tewolde Gebremariam’s application for early retirement.
A statement released by Ethiopian Airlines indicates that Mr. Tewolde has been receiving medical treatment in the United States for the last six months, and was unable to provide leadership to what is now Africa’s largest and most successful airline.
It is noted in the statement that Mr. Tewolde’s “position demands closer presence and full attention round the clock,” which he was unable to provide due to expressed medical condition.
For that reason, “Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam requested the Board of Management of Ethiopian Airlines Group(the “Board”), for early retirement in order for him to focus his full attention to his medical treatment,” said the statement.
Credible sources confirmed that Tewolde’s resignation is related to health problems. The board accepted the early retirement application in a meeting it had on March 23, according to the statement from the Airlines.
Mr. Tewolde led Ethiopian Airlines for well over a decade and managed to make it a remarkable success story. Even at a time when the industry around the world was hit hard by the pandemic, he managed to make Ethiopian Airlines profitable without any government relief packages and without laying off employees.
Dozens of passenger planes were converted to cargo planes with Ethiopian Airlines technicians and the Airlines, and embarked on cargo businesses delivering coronavirus facemasks and vaccinations around the world.
Tewode Gebremariam’s contribution to the spectacular growth of Ethiopian Airlines, for which he worked 37 years including as CEO, is well noted by the statement from the Airline.
“Mr. Tewolde led the Airline for over a decade with remarkable success reflected in its exceptional performance in all parameters including but not limited to exponential growth from one Billion USD annual turn-over to 4.5 Billion, from 33 airplanes to 130 airplanes and from 3 million passengers to 12 million passengers (pre-COVID),” said the statement.
Furthermore, the statement said “Under his leadership, the airline group has grown by four fold in all measurements building more than USD 700 million worth of vital infrastructure like Africa’s biggest hotel, Cargo terminal, MRO hangars and shops, Aviation Academy and Full Flight Simulators. The Board, the Senior Management, employees and the whole Ethiopian Airlines family express their gratefulness for his contribution and wish him full recovery soon.”
The Board of Directors is yet to announce his successor. It is to be recalled that Mr. Girma Wake, who served Ethiopian Airlines as CEO for seven years, was recently appointed as a new Chairman of the Board of Management of Ethiopian Airlines Group by the Ethiopian Public Enterprises Holding and Administration Agency.
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