Two UAE nationals are the top runners to replace the outgoing Emirates airline president Sir Tim Clark in June 2020, sources said.
Emirates airline's chief operating officer Adel Al Redha and chief commercial Officer Adnan Kazim are believed to be in the race for the coveted post while flydubai CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith could also be considered for the post, sources said. However, a statement from the budget carrier was awaited at the time of filing the report.
An internal memo sent by Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, to staff stated that Clark will step down at the end of June 2020 following 35 years with the world's largest international carrier.
In replying to a question about retirement of Tim Clark and his replacement, Sheikh Ahmed said during a media briefing in November that the airline has resources internally.
"Within Emirates, we have resources. We have two people. Tim has served the airline very well. He is a genius guy," Sheikh Ahmed had said during a media briefing during Dubai Airshow 2019.
Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, says Emirates will have to position someone to replace Sir Tim and it's likely to be an Emirati as opposed to a non-UAE national.
"The two prime candidates in my mind are Adnan Kazim and Adel Al Redha. Both are seasoned executives with over 40 years of airline experience and capability between them. They have worked directly with Sir Tim in shaping Emirates and overseeing the biggest expansion phase over the last two decades of any international carrier," Ahmad told Khaleej Times.
He said there's a chance that an outsider could come in, but that is unlikely at this stage because Kazim and Al Redha have intricate knowledge of Emirates.
While commenting on the issue of succession, Tim Clark said in an interview that it would be good if a UAE national could replace him.
"I am looking after fleet and general direction but gradually I pass it all over to people working closely with me for a long time like COO Adel Al Redha and CCO Adnan Kazim. I am testing it and it's working," he told AirlineRatings in an interview.
"If I would have to step out for reasons beyond my control the company would keep going. The Sheikh is quite content with that. If I could get a UAE national to replace me, it would be good. Running a company this size by an expat is a bit embarrassing. We have a very strong cadre in our senior management, both national and expatriate. Now we are far more mature in our ability to deal with the succession," Clark said.
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