Air India unlikely to hire expats as COO
“We have received 15-16 applications for the post. We shall soon be examining these,” said a top airline executive. The job, which was advertised a few weeks ago, is likely to assume strategic importance as the shortlisted candidate would be expected to walk a tightrope in implementing the Cabinet-approved turnaround plan of the beleaguered carrier. The tenure of the COO would be two years, extendible by one year.
“A lot of talent is available within the company. Many senior officials have put in a number of years with the airline and gathered vast experience. We are not looking at expats for this job,” said the executive. The latest advertisement for the job, however, does not bar foreigners from applying for the post of COO.
The airline’s experience with expats in key management positions had turned bitter when two of them were shunted out by the government.
In April 2010, the airline had hired an Austrian professional, Gustav Baldauf, as the COO at an annual package of Rs three crore. He was shown the door by the then civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi after an interview in February 2011 with The Indian Express where he complained about the government’s interference in the day-to-day running of the airline.
Two others who were hired along with Baldauf at top posts — Stephan Sukumar and Pawan Arora —
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