Airline CEO who once said a woman couldn’t do his job steps down after decades in post – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

Airline CEO who once said a woman couldn’t do his job steps down after decades in post

Akbar Al Baker.

Noushad Thekkayil/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Qatar Airways announced that its CEO, Akbar Al Baker, is standing down after 27 years.Al Baker’s leadership has seen the airline win an array of awards, including the World’s Best Airline seven times.But he has also earned a controversial reputation for his comments about women and flight attendants.

Qatar Airways’ outspoken CEO is standing down after 27 years at the company, the airline announced Monday.

Akbar Al Baker will be replaced by Badr Mohammed Al-Meer on November 5.

Al-Meer has spent the last nine years as chief operating officer of Hamad International Airport in Doha, which is Qatar Airways’ main base.

Since Al Baker took charge nearly three decades ago, Qatar’s national carrier has grown hugely and picked up several awards along the way.

Between 2011 and 2022, it was named the World’s Best Airline seven times by Skytrax. And this year saw Qatar Airways’ business class offering named the world’s best for the tenth time at the World Airline Awards.

But Al Baker’s reign hasn’t been without controversy, as he’s built a reputation for being outspoken.

He was booed at a press conference in 2018 after saying that a woman couldn’t do his job “because it is a very challenging position.”

He later rowed back on the remark and said he would welcome a woman as his successor, and tweeted an apology.

A year before that, comments made by Al Baker during a speech in Ireland that were later posted online saw the Association of Flight Attendants’ president say that “Qatar Airways thrives on misogyny and discrimination.”

During the speech, Al Baker said that US airlines were being served by “grandmothers,” while the average age of his crew is 26, per the BBC.

Al Baker said US airlines were “crap” and their passengers were “always being served by grandmothers,” while boasting that “the average age of my cabin crew is only 26.” He subsequently apologized for the remarks.

And in 2022, when Qatar hosted the FIFA World Cup, Al Baker hit back at critics who condemned the country’s use of low-paid migrant workers to build stadiums, and its stance on LGBTQ+ rights.

We “always rub salt into the wound of our competitor, and of course, our adversaries, as you can see the measure of the negative media campaign against my beloved country Qatar,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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