LONDON – Andreas Otto, currently CCO and CFO of Austria’s national airline, has decided to leave the company at his own request effective December 31, 2020 in order to pursue new challenges.
He spent more than 20 years in Executive Board positions within the Lufthansa Group (LH), and ranks among the most experienced top managers in the Group.
He has a Member of the Executive Board of Austrian Airlines (OS) over the last six years. In his position as CCO and most recently as CFO as well, Otto strongly influenced the transformation of OS and spearheaded the realignment of the company.
Since the spring of 2020, the CCO/CFO has taken the lead in helping the airline navigate the coronavirus crisis and shaping the financing and aid package for the carrier.
New CCO for SWISS
Austrian-born Michael Trestl has been nominated to join the Executive Board of OS effective January 1, 2021, and assume the position of CCO. The Supervisory Board of OS still has to approve the appointment of Mr. Trestl as proposed by the
Lufthansa Executive Board.
At present, Michael Trestl is Head of Network Management at SWISS (LX). He has gained more than ten years of management experience at LX as well as at the holiday carrier Edelweiss (WK) and is an expert in the fields of strategy and commercial airline management.
Michael Trestl (35) began working for WK in Zurich as its Business Development Manager in the year 2011. After spending three years in this position, he served as Head of Corporate Development at WK in the period 2014 to 2017. Mr. Trestl subsequently accepted a position at LX, assuming the position of Head of Corporate Development & CEO Office.
Since 2018, he has worked as Head of Network Management, with responsibility for network planning on the part of the Swiss flag carrier. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, he has also been the Program Lead RESTART Commercial of the Lufthansa Group.
New COO for Eurowings
Jens Ritter, COO of OS, will also leave the company at the end of March 2021. He will assume the role of the new COO and Member of the Executive Board of Eurowings (EW) in Germany.
Ritter spent five years as part of the OS management team, first as Accountable Manager and as COO since the beginning of 2020. While working for OS, he reorganized and modernized its operations and put it on a stable footing.
Most recently, he served as the company’s crisis manager, leading the operational crisis management of the red-white-red national airline during the coronavirus pandemic.
As of April 1, 2021, contingent upon the approval of the Supervisory Board of OS, Jens Ritter will be succeeded by Francesco Sciortino, an experienced manager from the Lufthansa Group’s own ranks.
No New CFO for Eurowings
The operations expert is currently Managing Director and Accountable Manager at Germanwings, working in different management positions within the Lufthansa Group over the last approximately 19 years.
In the future, Sciortino will serve as the COO and Member of the Executive Board of OS, with responsibility for the operations of Austria’s national airline.
The vacant Executive Board position of CFO will not be filled and will be assumed by Alexis von Hoensbroech as of January 1, 2021 in addition to his role as CEO.
As a result, the future Executive Board of OS will consist of Alexis von Hoensbroech as CEO & CFO alongside CCO Michael Trestl and COO Francesco Sciortino.
Statement from Austrian Airlines
Christina Foerster, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of OS, said, “I very much regret the fact that we are losing Andreas Otto, an experienced industry expert and highly esteemed executive who decisively helped shape the Lufthansa Group over many years.”
“I would like to thank Andreas Otto for his longstanding and successful work and wish him all the best for the future. I would like to thank Jens Ritter for his five years of service on behalf of OS, upon which he definitely left on his imprint thanks to his untiring commitment and high quality standards. I would like to wish him every success in his professional future.”
Foerster also said, “I am pleased that we can propose that the Supervisory Board appoints two experienced top managers, Michael Trestl and Francesco Sciortino, to the Executive Board of OS.”
“Thanks to their extensive know-how, they will be able to lead OS out of the crisis and press ahead with the airline’s development with passion, motivation and creative impetus. I am certain that the Executive Board team will successfully steer the company through the coronavirus pandemic and that OS will emerge even stronger from this time.”
A Team to Overcome COVID-19 Challenges
Alexis von Hoensbroech, CEO of OS, said, “I would like to thank Andreas Otto and Jens Ritter. On the basis of their extraordinary commitment, courage and prudence, they developed and strengthened our OS over the last few years and recently maneuvered the airline through the coronavirus crisis.”
“At the same time, I am looking forward to working together with Michael Trestl and Francesco Sciortino. Both of them will become part of our company during a very dynamic period of time.”
“I am convinced that we will overcome the challenges of the pandemic with their expertise and put OS back on the road to success.”
Featured image: An Austrian Airlines Boeing 767-300 at Vienna Airport (VIE) Photo: Daniel Sander