Before her appointment to the NS in 2014, Rintel was already active in various positions at KLM and Air France-KLM. Her name had been around for a while as a potential successor to Elbers. She will be the first female CEO in KLM’s nearly 103 year history.
Rintel says in a first reaction that he considers it an honor to take over the baton from Elbers. She calls the track record of the outgoing CEO impressive. “Under Pieter’s leadership, KLM has found its way up and I will continue that course.”
Elbers’ term does not expire until May 2023, but he is leaving earlier. Elbers will resign from his duties as president by 1 July at the latest and will ensure a transfer to his successor, KLM reports.
At the beginning of this year, KLM announced that Elbers will not be running for a third term at KLM. Between Elbers and CEO Ben Smith of parent company Air France-KLM it would not be all right. The Canadian would like to implement reforms to improve cooperation between Air France and KLM. Elbers is seen as an obstacle to the parent company’s plans to change the structure. He repeatedly opposed plans that would limit KLM’s autonomy.
Smith ‘extremely happy’
Smith reports that he is “extremely happy” to welcome Rintel as the new CEO of KLM. “I know that Marjan will succeed in making KLM even stronger by building on the strengths of the Group.” The Canadian faces a new five-year term as boss of the aviation combination.
According to Cees ‘t Hart, CEO of KLM, Rintel’s nomination was unanimous. He praises her knowledge of the sector, her network and her experience within the political playing field. “With her extensive and broad managerial, commercial and operational experience, we are bringing in someone who is close to the employees and who, with her team, will further shape the future of KLM as a customer-oriented customer without any inconvenience.”
KLM further reports that the company’s Works Council has been asked for advice on the nomination of Rintel as KLM’s statutory director. The nomination for appointment is then submitted for approval to the shareholders at an extraordinary general meeting, which is scheduled for this purpose.