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Me Myself
17th Aug 2018, 03:37
Hi there

we have just been informed of Benjamin Smiths appointment as Air France KLM CEO.
His salary has been tripled ( 3,3 mill eur ) compared to what the last CEO, JM Janaillac was earning and this one isnt going down too well with the troop who was generously offered a 2 something pc pay raise after 7 years of salary freeze.
But more important to us ..........what kind of man is he ?
The French press who is at best as transparent, objective and free as the old East German state media was, is feeding us with adjectives that make him look like a corporate bombshell.
No flaws......only qualities.....transformed Air Canada...top to bottom and back up, started Rouge.....and God knows what else.
Apparently his appointment is the result of a deal : do not sack the old guard that sent AF full speed into the wall and everything will be just swell and you have the government blessing to club these arrogant overpaid pilots ( I wished ).

In a nutshell could you Air Canada guys, tell us what the man is all about and in what way is he the corporate Claudia Schieffer the press describes.

Commander Taco
17th Aug 2018, 04:14
CEO Calin Rovinescu and COO Ben Smith took an airline that had been strip-mined during it’s bankruptcy by CEO Boy Wonder, Deutsche Bank and Cerberus Capitol management, and transformed it into a profitable and rapidly growing airline that I hardly recognize in the three years since I retired.

Calin is the money/finance guy, Ben is/was the vision guy. His preference is to be collaborative with his employees, rather than combative. Once the pilots realized this and started to work together with him is when AC really started to takeoff.

AC’s loss is, in my mind, definitely AF’s gain. Whether he’ll be successful or not will be interesting to watch - the labour problems at AF seem intractable. Still too much of an “aux barricades” mentality in France I’m afraid.

wiggy
17th Aug 2018, 07:11
Hi there

we have just been informed of Benjamin Smith’s appointment as Air France KLM CEO.






Ah, we have had the joys of another ex Air Canada individual, Klaus Goersch, as our Chief Operating Officer for the last 12 months or so and it has been interesting.... I think we might need your barricades when you have finished with them...oh, and I agree that given the context of the change of leadership the pay deal for the new AF guy stinks.

Bonne Chance.

Me Myself
17th Aug 2018, 12:25
Thanks for that.
Yes,, the labour problems are a big issue but bear in mind that when people originally went for the barricade .....they just had their belly full of the Whigs behavior.
The former CEO was a very decent man, but very isolated from the rest of the management structure who kept laying mines under his feet.
Then....this referendum.....the worst you can do in France. You never ever organize a referendum in the heat of things.....people,never answer the question.
If a deal has been made such as keeping those who precisely can only work around the issue with this management style that Janaillac wqsnt able to change, mostly for lack of time.....and tardy understanding.....I dont see how this can work.....vision or not.

You hardly recognize AC......may I ask in what way ?

roybert
17th Aug 2018, 14:24
This is also running over on the Canada Page.

Me Myself
17th Aug 2018, 15:10
I understand that when it comes to labour relations in France and Air France especially, common knowledge has it that people strike as they please, unmanageable mob of “ Mexicans”
But the mirror effect creates unyielding unions in a country where compromise, win win, makes you look like a pussie within management ranks.
A de Juniac, the former AF KLM CEO who very skilledully managed to extract himself to head IATA, was a a text book example of this management la French, right from the so called elite school ENA who has been training high ranking civil servants.......French Sir Humphrey’s ......just a lot less funny.

The following article was published in the Handelsblatt, the german equivalent of the Business Revue,or the FT.....and the title alone speaks volume.
” Air France management lives in a parralel world “

https://www.handelsblatt.com/meinung/kommentare/kommentar-die-chefs-von-air-france-leben-in-einer-parallelwelt/22866904.html


Good reading.....maybe it will explain better than I do where the problem, or one of them lies.
Need I say that no one in the french press corp would dare to publish such an article, unless he wants to lose his job.

Commander Taco
17th Aug 2018, 15:19
Ah, we have had the joys of another ex Air Canada individual, Klaus Goersch, as our Chief Operating Officer for the last 12 months or so and it has been interesting....

Wiggy,

While his last employer was AC, please don't consider him as AC. He has ricocheted around the industry, spending only five years at AC. He was regarded as somewhat of an underperformer during his time at the airline and a couple of worthy initiatives (for instance developing a "surge" de-icing facility in Toronto during peak periods) that were logically his bailiwick were actually initiatives of Ben Smith. KG was also initially given the pilot negotiations file, but so antagonized them after only a week at the table that he was benched. Smith took over and the process rapidly moved forward.

Me Myself
17th Aug 2018, 15:27
KG was also initially given the pilot negotiations file, but so antagonized them after only a week at the table that he was benched. Smith took over and the process rapidly moved forward.

Commander, the same happened at AF....only the reverse.....the good guy was shot in the air like a clay pigeon.
Resentment was soooooo high that not matter the question and the deal that was on the table..... the real question was never answered.
Just a big temper trantrum.....a very expensive one.
We are now stuck with the dead wood that Mr Smith is not allowed to touch.

ATC Watcher
17th Aug 2018, 15:39
the same happened at AF....only the reverse.....the good guy was shot in the air like a clay pigeon.
We are now stuck with the dead wood that Mr Smith is not allowed to touch.
A bit too much insider speak, can you expand a little bit more for us not in France ?

Me Myself
17th Aug 2018, 16:24
Outside of France ‘?’? in the jungle ??? cuz with a bit of an effort you will find all your answers in the articles that were published in the French press.
Anyhoo.....it’s all in the paper written by this very able German journalist

JayMatlock
17th Aug 2018, 18:12
KG was also initially given the pilot negotiations file, but so antagonized them after only a week at the table that he was benched. Smith took over and the process rapidly moved forward.

Commander, the same happened at AF....only the reverse.....the good guy was shot in the air like a clay pigeon.
Resentment was soooooo high that not matter the question and the deal that was on the table..... the real question was never answered.
Just a big temper trantrum.....a very expensive one.
We are now stuck with the dead wood that Mr Smith is not allowed to touch.
Of course the question was answered !
The question was "do you accept the proposed salary agreement ?"
The answer was no, because they indeed refused the salary agreement. Because they wanted a better one.

Personally, as a future Air France employee (just waiting for my notice period to end at my current company), I sincerely hope that all parties involved will have the best interest of the airline in mind. Not the shareholders, not one specific group of employees.

wiggy
17th Aug 2018, 20:40
Commander Taco

Many thanks for the info......what you describe sounds familiar:ok:

SMT Member
17th Aug 2018, 21:52
Outside of France ?? in the jungle ??? cuz with a bit of an effort you will find all your answers in the articles that were published in the French press.
Anyhoo.....its all in the paper written by this very able German journalist

Sorry, but I don't think many - if any - understand just WTF you're on about. Giving another blurry answer and referring people on an English speaking site to news in French and German is, equally, of no help at all.

Could you please dispense with the code language and tell us, in plain English, what you are referring to.

Me Myself
18th Aug 2018, 12:52
Your loss mate.
google translation should be able to help you.

glad rag
18th Aug 2018, 13:01
Except it doesn't.

meadowrun
19th Aug 2018, 03:39
We are now stuck with the dead wood that Mr Smith is not allowed to touch

Can you please explain what that means?

Does that mean he is going in as a hobbled CEO?
Lower management working against a strong CEO? - well, nothing like a hanging or guillotine to focus the mind. Some might cheer.

CanadianAirbusPilot
20th Aug 2018, 17:10
KG was a joke and not well liked. Seemed to under perform and never was well liked. Got himself checked out on the 787 and picked the gravy charters to fly.

BS was very well respected and people trusted him as far as a manager has ever been trusted at AC with the exception of maybe Hollis Harris. He worked with the troops (all departments) and turned AC around. Overall I believe its our loss and AFs gain. He is an airline guy, not a wall street laywer or accountant

bonne chance

underfire
20th Aug 2018, 17:29
No Canadians: Air France unions want French CEO (http://www.arabnews.com/node/1357331/business-economy)

ATC Watcher
20th Aug 2018, 19:50
.the good guy was shot in the air like a clay pigeon.
the real question was never answered.
We are now stuck with the dead wood that Mr Smith is not allowed to touch.

Sorry but reference to those 3 points you made are not in the Handelsblat article and not in the French Press I read either ( I can read French and German )
Could you just elaborate a bit what you mean ? It is not a trick, you just made us curious with your ( apparently) inside info.

pax2908
20th Aug 2018, 20:08
except the good guy did one bad thing, and after that, told everyone, like, the dog ate my homework

meadowrun
20th Aug 2018, 22:23
"No Canadians: Air France unions want French CEO".

Discrimination.

plhought
21st Aug 2018, 03:49
What about French-Canadians? Are they acceptable?

Ben speaks perfect French by the way (with the typical English-Canadian twang)