New Delhi: Budget carrier IndiGo on Friday announced that Aditya Ghosh has stepped down as president and whole time director of the firm and promoter Rahul Bhatia will be the interim CEO of the airline.
In a regulatory filing to the National Stock Exchange of India, IndiGo said that Ghosh’s exit from the post of president of the company will be effective from July 31 and as a director of the company with effect from April 26.
Ghosh had been at the receiving end of public ire over the last one year as several incidents of the airline’s ground staff misbehaving with passengers were reported. In a statement on Friday, Ghosh said it was time to “step off the treadmill” and “embark on the next adventure” sometime in the near future.
“For the last ten years, it has been a relentless, exhilarating and a most satisfying task building IndiGo. I wish all my colleagues at IndiGo the very best as they move on to the next phase of growth,” he said.
The no-frills airline also announced the appointment of Gregory Taylor as senior advisor to the company. “In the coming months, the board will consider the appointment of Greg as President and CEO of the Company, subject to receiving the necessary regulatory approvals and paperwork,” it said in a statement.
Taylor has more than 40 years of experience in the sector and has held various senior management roles at United Airlines and US Airways. A seasoned pilot, Ghosh was appointed President of IndiGo in 2008, four years after the inception of the airline. Under him, it became the largest domestic carrier and now accounts for roughly 40 per cent of the market. But the past was a turbulent ride for the normally unflappable Ghosh. In November last year, the airline lost its best on-time performance tag to SpiceJet.
That month also brought the worst public relation disaster. First, badminton star PV Sindhu took to Twitter to complain about a ‘bad experience’ on an IndiGo flight. Many on social media shared their own episodes with the airline.
A few days later, the airline’s ground staff thrashed and harassed a passenger before a flight from New Delhi. Then news emerged that IndiGo had fired an employee who shot a video of two of his colleagues manhandling a customer. The two employees involved in the assault were spared, a mistake that was pinned on the management led by Aditya.
Ghosh had publicly apologised, but only after three weeks of the incident, thus inviting massive criticism both from the public and the government.