Aircraft. Air France: appointment to interim Smith managing director
The French finance minister excludes a short-term sale of the shares
Benjamin Smith, in addition to being the managing director of the Air France-KLM Group, will also be at the top of the French carrier for a period of transition, after the former CEO Franck Terner has resigned. Smith's interim charge was announced yesterday and will end on December 31st but by that date a successor should already be appointed, provided that in the meantime the issue concerning the 14% shareholding owned by France, which would appear to be willing to sell as soon as possible. The French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire denied the rumors of a forthcoming sale yesterday, and asked Smith to focus on increasing the Group's competitiveness, especially in the case of Air France struggling with thorny trade union issues "rather than thinking of French equities", since the new management wants to reduce the costs of French personnel and risks opening the way for a new wave of internal strikes. The State has commented on Le Maire "would be a bad manager if he sold his shares now that are worth less than 40% compared to 2017", but not completely closing the door to a possible French disengagement from the carrier.
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