The noise had been circulating for a few days in the corridors of Air France-KLM, but the surprise remains great. The CEO of Transavia France, Nathalie Stubler, is leaving her position at the head of the low-cost company to become special adviser on the group’s decarbonization strategy. An appointment that looks more like a sideline than a promotion for the one who multiplied the fleet by three in seven years and had led the company to the profitability to which it would run for years. She is replaced by Olivier Mazzucchelli, who has become president of the regional subsidiary HOP! only a few months ago and currently on the rise. In this game of musical chairs, Hervé Boury takes the last folding seat. Currently Deputy General Manager in charge of Operations of Transavia France – which loses a second manager – he takes the presidency of HOP!.
Nathalie Stubler will report directly to Ben Smith, CEO of the Air France-KLM group. The latter held on to “thank you for the remarkable work she has done with her teams within Transavia France over the past seven years”stating that “decarbonization, and more generally our ability to conduct our business in a more sustainable way, are among the main strategic challenges that our group must meet”.
However, it’s a safe bet that the now ex-CEO of Transavia France is hardly thrilled with such a position and that it is only a temporary situation before leaving the group. Especially since several concordant sources report that the relations between Nathalie Stubler and Ben Smith were rather fresh and show strategic differences. The transformation of the Transavia France model, with the takeover of part of Air France’s domestic lines, would not have facilitated communication. Just like the concessions made by Ben Smith to Air France pilots to allow the development of Transavia beyond 40 aircraft. And the fact of having been on the “short-list” to take the general management of Air France at the end of 2018, finally entrusted by Ben Smith to Anne Rigail, could also have contributed to weakening the position of Nathalie Stubler in the group.
A new boss for Transavia
Conversely, Olivier Mazzucchelli knows this domestic market well, given his past at HOP!. He continues his ascent. He had notably been very present during the renegotiation of the PDV-PSE of HOP! in 2021, carried out under the aegis of Oltion Carkaxhija, Deputy Managing Director in charge of the transformation of Air France-KLM, who has the upper hand in social relations in the group. He then took over as head of the company in September 2022, replacing Pierre-Olivier Bandet appointed deputy general manager in charge of information systems from January 1, 2023.
With this appointment, Olivier Mazzucchelli joins the Air France executive committee, as does Hervé Boury. They will both report to Anne Rigail.
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