Aviation veteran Campbell Wilson is new CEO of Air India
Campbell Wilson, the former CEO of low-cost airline Scoot (a Singapore Airlines subsidiary), has been named the new CEO and Managing Director (MD) of Air India, according to an official announcement by Tata Sons on Thursday. Wilson, 50, has an experience of 26 years in the aviation sector, working for both full-service and low-cost carriers.
- Wilson's appointment comes after Turkey's Ilker Ayci decided not to take on the role of CEO of Air India in March.
- In February, Tata had announced Ayci's name for the top position after it took over the previously state-owned Air India in an equity and debt deal.
- Following his appointment, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) opposed the move, citing his political links in Turkey.
Chairman of Tata Group N Chandrasekaran commented on Campbell's appointment saying he was delighted to welcome Campbell to Air India. "He is an industry veteran having worked in key global markets cutting across multiple functions," he said. "Further, Air India would benefit from his added experience of having built an airline brand in Asia," he added.
Soon after his appointment, Campbell said it would be an honor to lead the iconic Air India and be part of the highly respected Tata Group. "Air India is at the cusp of an exciting journey to become one of the best airlines in the world, offering world-class products and services with a distinct customer experience that reflects Indian warmth and hospitality," he said.
Tata Sons has recently made big changes to Air India's senior management. Nipun Aggarwal was appointed as the Chief Commercial Officer; he replaced Air India veteran Meenakshi Malik. Suresh Dutt Tripathi became Chief Human Resources Officer. Tripathi, who was Vice President of Human Resources at Tata Steel from 2012 to 2021, replaced AI's Amrita Sharan.
Campbell began his career as a management trainee with Singapore Airlines (SIA) in New Zealand in 1996. Following that, he worked with SIA at several places before returning to Singapore in 2011 as CEO of Scoot, which he led till 2016. Thereafter, he became SIA's Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing; he returned to Scoot as CEO for the second time in 2020.
Air India returned to the Tata Group after 69 years in January this year. In October last year, the government had announced the takeover of Air India by Tata after making a winning bid of Rs. 18,000 crore. The airline was facing a total debt of Rs. 61,562 crore as of August 31, 2021, as per The Economic Times report.