Posts: 1782
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 11:11 pm

Bob Ayling, BA CEO, Resigns!

Fri Mar 10, 2000 8:14 pm

It has been announced (I know this from that Robert Ayling, CEO of BA since 1996 has resigned.

Anyone care to offer an evaluation of his performance? Personally, I think he has presided over some of the worst years of BA, with 'those' tailfins, massive losses this year and alienation with staff resulting in strikes.

Anyone else got an opinion?
v jet
Posts: 757
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 9:04 am

RE: Bob Ayling, BA CEO, Resigns!

Fri Mar 10, 2000 9:37 pm

Well I for one really liked the different tail designs.
It will now be interesting to see what direction
the company takes once a new CEO is appointed.
The guy has resigned now and I'm not one for
going over what he should have or should not have done
while he was CEO. Thats history. I hope BA will prosper under the
new management.
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 8:28 am

RE: Bob Ayling, BA CEO, Resigns!

Fri Mar 10, 2000 11:34 pm

Well he weathered many a storm before he took his decision. The airline certainly hasn't done well under much of his command. In a time when most airlines are turning some sort of profit, BA has been struggling, and with a public company (ie quoted on the stock market) you can't turn in losses to the shareholders over an extended period and hope to remain in charge.
There was an article I read about two months ago which tipped the former head of Deutsche BA to take command if Ayling went?????
Aircraft I've flown: A300/A310/A320/A321/A330/A340/B727/B732/B733/B734/B735/B738/B741/B742/B744/DC10/MD80/IL62/Bae146/AR

RE: Bob Ayling, BA CEO, Resigns!

Sat Mar 11, 2000 12:41 am

Hmmm, you all seem to be very critical of his leadership, on this forum. To be honest, I have heard much good about him and his achievements, and as far as I remember, BA was losing money, and I mean losing lots of money. Through saving, the airline improved and it was the first and best example of a profitmaking airline. Too bad Ayling did not stop his policy of saving at the right time, leading to customer losses as the quality of service decreased. Personally, I agree it is good that he leaves now, as his scheme of reducing capacity and improving quality while increasing prices looked quite risky.

On the other hand..... If what you said about the Deutsche BA manager is true, I'm not quite convinced that this will turn out to be an improvement. After all Deutsche BA has not made a single Pfennig of profit so far, and apart from original marketing campaigns, they have not really achieved much.

In Summary, I hope Virgin Atlantic takes over BA soon, increasing the quality in world travelling and reducing prices....:-)

RE: Bob Ayling, BA CEO, Resigns!

Sat Mar 11, 2000 2:14 am

It was either resign or be fired....

BA's share price up 15% on the news!

Bob Ayling Resigns! - At Last

Sat Mar 11, 2000 2:35 am

Finally Ayling Bob is gone!
This man and his cronies are responsible for taking the world's most profitable airline and in a few years actually making it lose money! Staff morale is down the pan, the world tails are a joke, the popular 757 fleet is going - even though BA is making money with them as part of BA's crazy scheme that it will make more money by carrying less passengers, they obviously have no confidence in being able to fill a 200 seater with pax at a decent yield!

Hope BA will soon be sorted out and return to previous health


RE: Bob Ayling Resigns! - At Last

Sat Mar 11, 2000 2:49 am

While I agree that the Ayling years have been somewhat checkered, you cannot blame all the BA's problems on its erstwhile CEO.

--Asian economic crisis
--New competition on the North Atlantic as American carriers shifted their planes from the Pacific to the Atlantic,
--Emergence of Easyjet, Ryanair making it near impossible to garner a profit in Europe
--Go (low cost BA subsidiary) failing to make inroads on Haji-Ianou-Stergiou and his billionaire daddy
--World Tails were actually an original and popular concept that was put death by British

Ayling's plan of cutting back capacity actually made good financial sense. The 757's that are going are some of the oldest in service--the 32X trash will probably be more popular with pax in the long run.

I don't think BA are going to make any changes from Ayling's business plan. They will continue cutting capacity, continue replacing shorthaul with Airbus a/c, and press on with the 4-class cabin.

Ayling probably faced immense pressure by shareholders to resign in wake of the 60,000,000 GBP loss--that is the real reason he has "resigned".
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 11:11 pm

RE: Bob Ayling, BA CEO, Resigns!

Sat Mar 11, 2000 6:20 am

With regards to VS taking over BA, Branson did comment that he would put in a bid if the shares went below 260p on the FTSE - but with the shares rising 15% as a result of Aylings resignation, don't look for that happening any time soon!
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Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2000 4:49 am

RE: Bob Ayling, BA CEO, Resigns!

Sat Mar 11, 2000 6:26 am


I know quite a few people who work in BA (both cabin staff and engineering) I can assure you that morale took a total pounding under his tenure. One thing BA staff have been for a long time is extemely proud of BA, its financial achievements and reputation for excellence. In his short spell in charge he managed to undermine this "espirit de corps" totally.

Not all British people were against the World Image idea. I was roundly criticised by some of my work colleagues for objecting to the change. I felt at the time of its introduction that it was a sure sign that the management had lost its hold on reality. I've worked in the commercial world for 24 years and know the importance of brand image (ask Coca Cola or McDonalds). BA had an immensely strong brand image which almost overnight was destroyed by Ayling and his team. I know also that the Queen was very upset that the coat of arms, which she had bestowed on the airline in 1984 in recognition of its achievements, was thrown out in the change to World Image.

The latest example of this "warped" view of marketing is BA's attempts to lure the "high profit" type of passenger and reduce seating for "normal" economy passsengers. On BBC Radio 5 a few nights ago, the marketing manager of Ryanair was interviewed. He said that any business that tried to expand by REDUCING its customer potential base must be mad.

For the moment, Colin Marshall is taking control of the helm. Maybe sanity will return.

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Joined: Sun Jul 11, 1999 6:27 am

RE: Bob Ayling, BA CEO, Resigns!

Sat Mar 11, 2000 1:51 pm

THANK GOD! I just hope they don't put Sir Colin in charge.

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