Carsten Spohr to head German flag carrier Lufthansa | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 07.02.2014
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Carsten Spohr to head German flag carrier Lufthansa

German airline Lufthansa has named a new chief executive from within its own ranks to head its business operations as of May. Carsten Spohr has the task of completing a restructuring process begun under the current CEO.

Lufthansa announced February 7 it had named Carsten Spohr to become its next chief executive. The decision, which will take effect May 1, follows a lengthy search by the carrier for a suitable candidate. It had initially had a preference for somebody from outside the company.

The 47-year-old Spohr is to take over from Christoph Franz, who is moving to head the board of Swiss drug maker Roche.

Spohr has made a name for himself while helping Lufthansa's passenger business to greater profitability and revenues.

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Lufthansa shares jumped by about 2 percent in early trading Friday on the news of the appointment, not least because Spohr had long been many investors' desired candidate for the post of CEO.

Shareholders had criticized the company's management for taking so much time to name a successor to Christoph Franz while large-scale restructuring was in full swing and needed to be finalized.

Among the critics of the slow search for a candidate had been investment company DWS which had voiced its lack of understanding for what it perceived as a waste of time, saying Airbus pilot Spohr would be the right man for the job.

hg/ipj (dpa, AP, Reuters)

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