Aviation news: Christoph Franz will take over as chairman and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG


In its meeting today, the supervisory board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG appointed Deutsche Lufthansa AG deputy chairman Christoph Franz as the successor to Wolfgang Mayrhuber as chairman and CEO of the Lufthansa Group. The change at the helm of the group shall take place with effect from January 1, 2011.

Also with effect from January 1, 2011, the members of the supervisory board appointed Carsten Spohr to the executive board of the Lufthansa Group. As head of Lufthansa German Airlines he shall also occupy the position of CEO and chairman of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board. As his successor as chairman and CEO at Lufthansa Cargo AG, Karl Ulrich Garnadt was proposed. Garnadt is currently responsible for hub management and passenger services on the Lufthansa German Airlines board.

“Our company is characterized by a responsible personnel and executive development guided by foresight, and it is this very development that regularly assures us an outstanding management team,” commented supervisory board chairman Jürgen Weber speaking on the appointments. Although Lufthansa shall not officially bid farewell to Mayrhuber until December, Weber highly valued his 40 years at Lufthansa, adding that during his almost eight-year tenure as chairman and CEO of the group, Mayrhuber had successfully laid decisive foundations for the future of the company with the expansion of the Star Alliance, the establishment of the airline group, and the development of new markets. The quality of his leadership could ultimately be seen in the way he successfully steered Lufthansa through various crises that the group managed to overcome while maintaining orientation towards quality and without having to sustain any major job losses.

Wolfgang Mayrhuber congratulated his successor in the name of the executive board saying: “With Christoph Franz at the helm and his broad wealth of experience, foresight, and determination to implement change, our company will continue to be able to react to future challenges with the necessary speed and flexibility. Our customers, shareholders, and staff shall continue to benefit from a Lufthansa at its very best in the future – our new management team with Carsten Spohr, an engineer, pilot, and versatile manager, has all the prerequisites to make sure of it.”

Christoph Franz stated that he was: “looking forward to facing the industry’s challenges with a strong team of over 116,000 employees. The companies of the Lufthansa Group stand for quality, and we shall continue to grow profitably, to convince our customers with the very highest standards of safety, outstanding service, high comfort, optimal network quality, and the quality of work that they have grown accustomed to in the future.”

As the future chairman and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Christoph Franz shall be responsible for the Lufthansa Group and its five business segments: the passenger airline group, logistics, MRO, IT services, and catering with a total of over 116,000 employees worldwide. Carsten Spohr shall assume responsibility for Lufthansa German Airlines and its over 37,000 staff worldwide on the executive board of the Lufthansa Group. Lufthansa German Airlines is structured in the following divisions: oerations, marketing and sales, passenger services and hub management, and finance and human resources.