Qatar Airways confirms CEO Akbar al-Baker to step down, al-Meer to take over

Qatar Airways Chairman Saad al-Kaabi said in an official circular obtained by Reuters on Monday that CEO Akbar al-Baker is to step down from his position effective November 5, confirming earlier reports.

The circular also confirmed that Badr al-Meer will be the company’s new CEO.

Akbar al-Baker, had led Qatar Airways for almost three decades and built the airline into a long-distance powerhouse. His devotion to delivering a premium experience won plaudits from customers but led to clashes with manufacturers Airbus SE and Boeing Co.

Most recently, al-Baker went to court with Airbus over an issue with flaking paint on widebody A350 jets. The matter was settled earlier this year.

He also courted controversy with comments at a 2018 event that a woman could not do his job “because it is a very challenging position.”

The CEO’s retirement has been anticipated for several years but he has always said he would step down when he was asked to.

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