MIAMI – The oneworld airline alliance has appointed Emirates Airline executive Rob Gurney as the new chief executive officer. Gurney comes to succeed Bruce Ashby, who announced last January his leave after five years in the position.

Gurney will assume his new role in October, after leaving his position of senior vice president commercial operations for the Americas of the Dubai-based carrier, oneworld said in a statement.

The alliance highlighted that Gurney has a substantial experience of airline alliances, with a 25-year career span in the industry, with oneworld founding members British Airways and Qantas.

“Bruce Ashby leaves big shoes to fill – and, in Rob Gurney, oneworld has appointed someone well able to do so. He takes on the role of oneworld CEO with a proven track record of successful leadership in key alliance and broader commercial roles within both the oneworld family and beyond, with all the attributes needed to lead the world’s most highly prized global alliance through the next phase of our development.” said Ivan Chu, CEO, Cathay Pacific.

Gurney will report to the alliance’s Governing Board, which is comprised by the CEOs of all member airlines, and will be in charge of leading the New York-based central alliance team.

“In many ways, this move feels like coming home. I look forward to working once again with oneworld’s stable of best-in-class carriers from each region to build further on oneworld’s position as the best alliance in the skies.” Gurney said.