Miami – Air Canada has announced that Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO, will retire on February 15, 2021, the end Company’s fiscal year. Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer, Michael Rousseau will succeed him.
“I have enjoyed a unique and special relationship with Air Canada and our outstanding people for over three decades,” Rovinescu said. He mentioned working through many of the company’s defining moments: the 1988-1989 privatization, the defense against a hostile bid in 1999, the merger with Canadian Airlines in 2000, the aftermath of 9-11, and leading the 2003-2004 restructuring.
“But, more than anything else, I am especially proud of the company’s transformation over the last dozen years. We built Air Canada into one of the world’s leading carriers and a global champion for Canada. This is due to the efforts of the wonderful women and men who supported our plan with innovation, hard work, and great devotion,” said Mr. Rovinescu.
Comments on the COVID-19 Crisis
“Covid-19 has decimated the global airline industry, but we entered the pandemic much healthier than almost any other airline in the world. This is due to our strong balance sheet, track record, and engaged workforce,” Rovinescu added.
“Our Covid-19 Mitigation and Recovery Plan is now nearly complete. And we will put the remaining steps in place prior to year-end. We have raised around $6 billion of incremental liquidity. We will continue to implement a series of significant fleet, capacity, network, and workforce reductions that are required before we rebuild.”
Praising His Successor
Commenting on Mr. Rousseau, Rovinescu said, “Mike Rousseau has been a key member of our leadership team since the beginning of our transformation. He was an invaluable partner and sounding board for me on virtually all aspects of our journey over the last 12 years, especially the last two as our Deputy CEO.”
“He knows our strengths and opportunities and how we can lean into them. I am delighted that the Board of Directors endorsed Mike as my successor and look forward to working closely with him and the rest of our executive team through the transition in February.”
Mike Rousseau’s Background
Mr. Rousseau has served as deputy CEO and CFO since December 2018, playing an instrumental role in the company’s transformation. He drove the charge on strengthening the balance sheet, building significant shareholder value, and the complete turnaround and stabilization of Air Canada’s pension plans.
He led many areas of Air Canada’s business with oversight of Air Canada Rouge, fleet planning, treasury, corporate real estate, procurement, cost transformation, mergers and acquisitions, investor relations, and pension fund administration.
Featured image: Heathrow, T2A, airside, passenger silhouetted, Air Canada aircraft taxiing in background, May 2019. Photo: Airways Flies