Willie Walsh Steps Down From IAG – What’s Your Verdict?

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Willie Walsh was replaced as IAG’s Chief Executive by Luis Gallego today, after the Annual General Meeting of the British Airways parent company.

Commenting on his new role, former Iberia Chief Executive, Mr Gallego said:

“It’s an honour to become IAG’s chief executive, following in Willie’s footsteps and building on all that he has achieved in the past nine years.

This is a hugely difficult time for our industry. Not only do we face the immediate challenge of Covid but we must ensure that IAG is strong and resilient when it emerges from the crisis.  The Group was in good shape before Covid with a history of strong profitable growth. We have a portfolio of world class brands, acquired through selective M&A, in which we have invested effectively for the benefit of our customers while keeping costs under control.  My goal is to ensure that IAG adapts to the “new normal” in aviation and builds on its strengths to secure a strong future for the Group, our customers, shareholders and employees”.  

Bottom line

There is no doubt that it is a uniquely difficult time to reach the top at IAG, and for the sake of passengers, staff and shareholders, we wish Luis Gallego the best of luck.

For better or worse, Willie Walsh was a true titan of the aviation industry (having spent 41 years in it, originally as a pilot).

How would you describe his time with BA and IAG? – let us know in the comments! 😉


  1. Paul Sowden says


    He’s transformed BA and Iberia and created a strong airline that will emerge from Covid and prosper

  2. Anita McCullough says

    Ooops a wee typo. You’ve got him as heading up the Intercontinental Hotels Group … I am sure he’s got enough on his plate without that.

    • Joe Deeney says

      Oops – cheers for the correction! Yes, I daresay Mr Gallego is probably busy enough for the time being 🙂

  3. Jon Champs says

    He degraded everything he touched in the name of profit. That’s all that mattered to him. People, service, quality, openness, reliability, one of it mattered. Just profit.

  4. Peter Thompson says

    So many missed opportunities under his leadership and although IAG is a financially stronger airline group than some hopefully the new regime can return the operating airlines to be leading class again…..

  5. Stuart Clarke says

    Willie Walsh’s time at BA and IAG was very poor indeed. Strikes, the T5 fiasco, lost baggage, poor customer service, more strikes. BA would be in a far better place if Rod Eddington had stayed at the helm.

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