On Tuesday 31 March 2015, MERC Partners were delighted to welcome Willie Walsh, CEO Of International Airlines Group (IAG) as speaker for the latest event in their Executive Leadership Series in Dublin. Over 180 senior executives and leaders from across industry attended what was an enthralling presentation entitled ‘Leadership Perspectives from 36,000 feet’. Mr Walsh leads IAG, the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Vueling, Iberia Express, OpenSkies, Avios and IAG Cargo. The Group boasts an annual turnover of €20 billion, with 450 aircraft flying to over 100 countries. Mr Walsh, in his own words, is “an Irishman running a Spanish business in London, operating in Euro, with revenues in Sterling”.
Mr. Walsh candidly discussed current competition in the aviation sector and how it compelled the industry to innovate, re-examine cost base, and transform customer service. IAG are seeking to acquire Aer Lingus, Ireland’s national flag carrier airline, offering a €1.4 billion bid. The proposal is currently under review by the Irish Government, who have a 25% stake in Aer Lingus.
In his response to questions from the floor, Mr Walsh was refreshingly open and honest. Among other topics, the audience heard his forthright views on the attributes of a leader, succession planning, the participation of women on boards, and the ongoing debate regarding the UK’s EU Membership.
MERC Partners’ Executive Leadership Series 2015 has been widely covered in the national and international media including television, radio and newsprint.
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