Flybe has announced that Chief Executive Officer Christine Ourmières-Widener is standing down from 15th July 2019 following the sale of the airline to Virgin Atlantic led consortium Connect Airways Limited.
Ms Ourmières-Widener joined Flybe in 2016 and under her stewardship of the regional airline saw it decline from a profitable airline to a debt ridden operation that was eventually sold off to Connect Airways for just 1p per share in a deal that left a sour taste in many shareholders mouths.
She was even criticised by her own staff for being to focused projects such as ‘Fly-she’ and ignoring the core problems of the airline.
Last year, one senior pilot became so disgruntled with her leadership he emailed her directly saying “Congratulations, in two years at Flybe you and your fellow incompetent cohorts have managed to totally destroy a viable airline which was making profits when you took over”
Despite the controversy the board of directors thanked the outgoing CEO saying “The Board of Directors thanks Christine for her leadership and her many achievements and, in particular, her stewardship of the business during a difficult time leading to the sale of the airline.
“On behalf of the entire Flybe Board, I want to extend my gratitude to Christine Ourmières-Widener for her commitment and significant contributions to Flybe,” said Jonathan Peachey, Director, Flybe Limited. “This includes her tireless efforts to safeguard the future for the customers and communities who rely on Flybe, as well as the company’s employees, its pension fund members and its creditors. We all wish Christine the very best for the future.”
Christine Ourmières-Widener claimed she had protected jobs during her tenure saying: “It has been a privilege to lead Flybe over the past two years and to work with such an outstanding and dedicated team of professionals
“Together, we have been able to secure the jobs of our loyal Flybe employees with the sale to Connect Airways and provide our customers and the UK with the vital transport and travel infrastructure they rely on, while preparing Flybe for a bright future under its new ownership.”