Reply To: IAG a House of Cards?

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@AnthonyDunn – 08/05/2013 08:44 GMT

“I am not exactly WW’s greatest living fan but he was brought in to do a job and that is what he has done: stripping out much unnecessary/unsustainable cost.”

The fact that BA and most of the other legacy airlines required a CEO to lead major restructuring has always been accepted. Why I regard Walsh as a mediocre/below par CEO at best is HOW the necessary restructuring was/is being executed.

Walsh has now been at the helm 8 years.

His bullying leadership style to restructuring has created huge lasting schisms throughout the company – not just with Cabin Crew. Morale and motivation is sub-zero. He failed to restructure the BA pilots which is not just a highly expensive lost opportunity but also causing great angst in IB and its pilot community who seek equal (promised?)treatment.

Believe it or not Anthony, a high calibre CEO could/would have executed the required restructuring and secured an inspired, trusting, well motivated, high morale team at the same time.

Wanting to meet his goals, Walsh failed to influence IB in 2005 to start restructuring before the merger – yet IB had been successful in demanding BA take measures to sort their pension fund and cost base prior to the merger. Walsh then overpaid considerably for a near worthless asset with the restructuring starting 5 years too late and at astronomical expense financially and reputation wise.

In Walsh’s tenure, just when his initiatives should start yielding benefits the share price stood at over 570 – it is now less than half that. Further, dividends to shareholder have been more scarce that KrugHandles trip reports – just one in 8 years, a miserly 5p per share, yet he continues to line his pockets for serial underperformance…he should take a tip from Morrisons where the directors have been refused bonuses, share awards and salary increases.

I would have expected BA to have been able to recruit a high performing CEO. Walsh hasn’t the leadership competencies to lead a people centric company. Now Al Baker appears to have schmoozed his way into an insiders position, he will be able to influence to a greater extent in the short term, and with the IB bail out becoming ever more expensive Al Baker and his funding will become increasing influential in the longer term.

Am not sure if the wolf coming through the door will save Walsh’s bacon or have him for breakfast.

As I noted in a previous posting, at a recent dinner party, a senior BA waterworlder shared that it was widely accepted that BA’s two greatest assets were its dominant position at a constrained LHR and its legacy cabin crew – though no one would admit that to Walsh or the pilots!

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