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 Air India may get expat COO soon

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gauravprakash007
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PostSubject: Air India may get expat COO soon   Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:34 am

New Delhi: National carrier Air India (AI) may shortly get an expatriate chief operating officer (COO) to oversee the turnaround of the loss-making airline that’s been bailed out by the government and urgently needs to find ways of saving money.
Five applicants have been shortlisted by the carrier. “They will be coming for the interviews on 27 March. All are expats,” said a senior government official familiar with the process, who asked not to be named as he is not authorized to speak with the media. The names of the prospective COOs cannot be disclosed because most are employed with various airlines, the official said.
The applicants are to be screened by a panel headed by civil aviation secretary M. Madhavan Nambiar. The others on the committee are Anand Mahindra, vice-chairman and managing director of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, Uday Kotak, executive vice-chairman and managing director of Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd, and Sajjan Jindal, vice-chairman and managing director of JSW Steel Ltd.
The COO’s mandate is to work with chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav to implement a three-year turnaround plan. The airline received fresh equity infusion from the government on 19 March, raising the equity capital to Rs945 crore, as part of the total agreed Rs2,000 crore proposed bailout. The airline is expected to make a loss of Rs5,400 crore in 2009-10, according to the civil aviation ministry.
At least 140 top global airline executives had applied for the job after advertisements were posted in September in The Economist magazine and the Financial Times newspaper. COOs and vice-presidents from European, American, Australian and Caribbean carriers were among those vying for the job, which includes completing the integration of domestic carrier Indian Airlines with AI, as Mint reported on 19 November.

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