Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines announce new CEOs


Jens Ritter, currently a Member of the Executive Board and COO of Eurowings, will become the new CEO of Lufthansa Airlines on 1 April 2022 and will succeed Klaus Froese. Klaus Froese is handing over his post after more than six years on the Executive Board of Lufthansa Airlines, most recently as CEO. Going forward, he will fly for Lufthansa as a captain, piloting the new Boeing 787 that arrives next year.

Annette Mann, currently Head of Corporate Responsibility at Lufthansa Group, will become the new CEO of Austrian Airlines* as of 1 March 2022. Annette Mann succeeds Dr. Alexis von Hoensbroech, who is leaving the company with immediate effect at his own request.

Dietmar Focke, currently Head of Engine Services at Lufthansa Technik, is moving to the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo* and will be responsible for Operations and Human Resources as of 1 March 2022. He succeeds Harald Gloy, who is leaving the company at his own request.

Dr. Jörg Beißel, Head of Corporate Controlling at the Lufthansa Group, will assume the position of CFO of Lufthansa Airlines as of 1 April 2022. He succeeds Patrick Staudacher, who will not extend his contract at Lufthansa at his own request and will leave the company at the end of April.

Frank Bauer, currently a Member of the Executive Board at Eurowings and responsible for Finance and HR, will be responsible for the corporate controlling of Lufthansa Group as of 1 April 2022.

The areas of Human Resources and Finance on the Eurowings Executive Board will be taken over by Kai Duve as of 1 February 2022. Kai Duve is currently head of the Frankfurt cabin crews division of Lufthansa Airlines.

Benedikt Schneider, currently responsible for the Executive Office of the Chief Human Resources and Legal Officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG will succeed Kai Duve, also as of 1 February 2022.

Wilken Bormann, currently Head of Lufthansa Group Finance, will assume responsibility for Finance and Human Resources* on the LSG Group Executive Board as of 1 March 2022. He succeeds Dr. Kristin Neumann, who is leaving the company at her own request at the end of February.

“Filling these top management positions is another important step in our transformation. We are continuing on our course with undiminished speed and are strengthening our position among the leading global airline groups. I am pleased that we were able to fill all positions from within Lufthansa Group – it confirms our successful personnel and leadership development,” said Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

About the appointees:

Jens Ritter (48) started his flying career in 2000 after studying aerospace and training as an Airbus A320 pilot with Lufthansa. In 2008, he switched to the Airbus A330/340 as a long-haul pilot. In 2014, he was trained as a captain on the Airbus A320. Jens Ritter took on his first management role in 2005 in the ‘A380 Onboard IT’ project. Later, he held various management positions. In 2014, he took over as Head of Operations Efficiency and Strategy at Lufthansa.

Jens Ritter

In parallel, he led a project for the standardization of Group-wide flight operations processes in Lufthansa Group. Between 2016 and 2020, Jens Ritter was responsible for the operations of Austrian Airlines as Accountable Manager. As Chief Operating Officer (COO), he was part of the extended Executive Board of Austrian Airlines. He has been Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Executive Board at Eurowings since April 2021.

Annette Mann (43) is currently Head of Corporate Responsibility and responsible for the sustainability activities of Lufthansa Group. After studying economics, she began her career in 2003 as a trainee in the junior executive program of Lufthansa Group. Until 2012, Annette Mann held various positions in the areas of product, sales, and strategy at Lufthansa. Between 2013 and 2015, she was responsible for the commercial and operational launch of the Premium Economy Class at Lufthansa. From 2016 to 2020, she headed the product management of SWISS International Airlines in Zurich. In parallel, she was responsible for Inflight & Customer Services of the Group’s network airlines and co-negotiator of the partial sale of LSG.

Dietmar Focke (48) has been responsible for Commercials Engine Services at Lufthansa Technik since the beginning of 2020. The engineering graduate started his career in 2000 as a product engineer at Lufthansa Technik. After holding positions in Strategy & Business Development and Airframe Related Components in Hamburg, he moved to the Lufthansa Technik joint venture Ameco in China for five years, from 2010 to 2014, where he was responsible for aircraft overhaul, among other things. Dietmar Focke then became CEO of Lufthansa Technik Budapest, Base Maintenance. He held this position until 2019.

Dr. Jörg Beißel (51) has been responsible for corporate controlling at Lufthansa Group since 2018. In addition to this, he headed the so-called Cash Office during the pandemic and assumed responsibility for the overarching restructuring program in the course of the ReNew program. With a doctorate in economics, he held various management positions in the Group between 2002 and 2018. After starting as a controlling specialist, he became Head of the Executive Office of the Chief Financial Officer of Deutsche Lufthansa AG in 2006. Subsequently, he assumed project responsibility in the Group-wide efficiency and earnings improvement program SCORE until 2015. From 2015 to 2018, Dr. Jörg Beißel was Commercial Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Eurowings, responsible for Finance, Human Resources, IT and Purchasing.

Frank Bauer (40) has been Managing Director of Eurowings, responsible for Finance and Human Resources, since September 2018. After completing his industrial engineering degree, Frank Bauer joined Lufthansa in 2007 as a trainee in the junior management program. One year later, he became an aide to the Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo. In 2010, he moved to the cargo airline Jade Cargo in Shenzhen, China, as Director Global Sales Steering & Marketing. In 2012, Frank Bauer returned to Deutsche Lufthansa AG and became a manager in the efficiency and result improvement program SCORE. Beginning in 2014, he was responsible for purchasing cabin material at Lufthansa Technik. In 2016, Frank Bauer took over as Head of Corporate Internal Audit at the Lufthansa Group.

Kai Duve (53) currently has management responsibility for 15,000 flight attendants and pursers at Lufthansa in Frankfurt and at the foreign bases in Bangkok and New Delhi since 2016. Prior to that, the industrial engineer was responsible for corporate auditing at Lufthansa Group from 2009 to 2015. Between 2002 and 2009, Kai Duve gained many years of international experience as Director Finance & HR Asia/Pacific at Deutsche Lufthansa AG, based in Singapore, and as Director HR North America in New York. Kai Duve started his career in 1998, in the controlling department of Lufthansa Technik.

Wilken Bormann (52) has been Head of Lufthansa Group Finance since April 2020. He began his career at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg in 1998, where he took over as head of the components business segment development in 2006. In 2014, Wilken Bormann moved to Lufthansa Airlines and was subsequently responsible for the finances, controlling and purchasing. Between 2017 and 2020, Wilken Bormann headed the Munich hub. In this role, his responsibilities included commercial management, station management, ground infrastructure and processes, and further development of Lufthansa’s southern hub.

Benedikt Schneider (54) has been Head of the Executive Office of the Chief Human Resources and Legal Officer at Deutsche Lufthansa AG since the beginning of 2020. The lawyer started his career at Lufthansa in 1995 in the strategy department. After holding various positions in Germany, among other things as Head of Human Resources at Lufthansa Cargo, Benedikt Schneider was responsible for Sales South East USA and Political Affairs in Washington from 2005 to 2009. Until 2013, he was Head of Human Resources at SWISS International Airlines, before taking on the role of Head of Human Resources at Germanwings, where he supported the company’s strategic development. Between 2016 and 2019, Benedikt Schneider was Head of Human Resources and Chief Legal Officer of the Eurowings companies.

(*) The appointment to this position is subject to nomination by the respective Supervisory Board bodies.

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