Calin Rovinescu Retiring As Air Canada's President/CEO; Michael Rousseau Named Successor

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Calin Rovinescu

Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer,
Michael Rousseau

After leading the company for almost 12 years, Air Canada's Calin Rovinescu will retire on 15FEB, 2021.

Deputy CEO and Chief Financial Officer, Michael Rousseau, will succeed him as President and Chief Executive Officer.

Rovinescu has been well-respected throughout his long tenure, and for many his retirement will come as sad news.

"I have enjoyed a unique and very special relationship with Air Canada and our outstanding people for over three decades, on the front lines of many of the company's defining moments - the 1988-1989 privatization, the defence against a hostile bid for Air Canada in 1999, our merger with Canadian Airlines in 2000, the aftermath of 9-11, leading the 2003-2004 restructuring and many others. But, more than anything else in my career, I am especially proud of the company's transformation over the last dozen years during which we built Air Canada into one of the world's leading carriers and a global champion for Canada, winning international customer and employee awards, growing our global network to serve all six inhabited continents, creating thousands of jobs and protecting pensions, producing record financial results, strengthening our balance sheet dramatically, delivering significant shareholder value, and above all, developing a lasting, empowered and entrepreneurial culture for our airline," said Rovinescu in a statement announcing his retirement. 

"This is directly attributable to the efforts of the wonderful women and men of Air Canada who have supported this multi-year transformation with innovation, hard work and great devotion."

Rovinescu noted that while Covid-19 has decimated the global airline industry, Air Canada entered the pandemic "much healthier" than other airlines around the world as a result of its "strong balance sheet, track record and engaged workforce." 

Mike Rousseau To Take The Helm

According to Rovinescu, his successor, Mike Rousseau, has been "a key member" of the Air Canada leadership team and an "invaluable partner and sounding board for me on virtually all aspects of our journey over the last 12 years - and especially the last two as our Deputy CEO."

"He knows all of our strengths and opportunities and how we can lean into them. I am truly delighted that the Board of Directors has endorsed Mike as my successor for this next stage and I look forward to working closely with Mike and the rest of our strong executive team through the transition next February," Rovinescu said.

Rousseau has served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Air Canada since DEC 2018, having previously served as its Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer since 2007.

Prior to joining AC, Mr. Rousseau was President of Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) and before that, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of HBC.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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