Virgin Atlantic have today announced that they will appoint Craig Kreeger as their new Chief Executive. Kreeger will assume the role on February 1st, joining from American Airlines, where he has held a 27-year career spanning commercial, financial and strategic roles in the US and around the globe.
Kreeger, 53, succeeds current CEO, Steve Ridgway, who is retiring from the airline. Last September Atlantic announced that Ridgway would retire in spring 2013, once a successor was in place, following a 23-year tenure with the airline. Becoming Chief Executive in 2001 he has seen Atlantic grow from two 747s to a fleet of 40 long haul aircraft, flying six million passengers a year all over the world.
We are thrilled to welcome Craig to Virgin Atlantic he is the right person to succeed Steve Ridgway at this dynamic and challenging time for our airline. We believe Craig has the experience and passion to drive Virgin Atlantic forward and capitalise on the opportunities created by our new venture with Delta Airlines, commented Richard Branson.
Kreeger, a graduate of the University of California in San Diego and with a MBA from UCLA, joined American Airlines in 1985 as an analyst and was appointed Senior Vice President, Customer in 2012. He spent six years in London as Senior Vice President, International and was responsible for AA operations and sales throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Pacific. He has worked on AA joint ventures with British Airways and Iberia across the Atlantic, as well as its partnership with Japanese Airlines in the Pacific.
I am delighted to be taking on the role of Virgin Atlantics Chief Executive. It is a great airline renowned for its customer service and innovation. I have been competing with it for many years but have always admired its laser focus on its people, its products and its customers. I am looking forward to working with the Virgin Atlantic team to build on Steves achievements and create the next exciting chapter, explained Kreeger.
Steve Ridgway will introduce and work alongside Craig Kreeger until the end of February 2013.