May 27, 2024
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Ethiopian Airlines picks new CEO to replace Tewolde Gebremariam

Africa’s largest carrier Ethiopian Airlines has appointed a new chief executive to replace long-serving Tewolde Gebremariam, who resigned on Wednesday for medical reasons.

The State-owned airline announced Thursday Mesfin Tasew Bekele, its former chief operating officer (COO), will take over the reins.

Mr Mesfin has since 2021 been serving as the CEO of Asky, a Togo-based private carrier that is a strategic partner of Ethiopian Airlines.

Prior to moving to Asky, he was the COO of the Ethiopian carrier from 2010. In his 38 years at the airline, he served in various capacities, including airline management, maintenance and engineering, aircraft procurement, flight operations, and strategic development.

“I would like to congratulate Mr Mesfin on his new appointment, and I am fully confident about his capabilities,” said Ethiopian Board chairman Girma Wake.

“We believe that Mr Mesfin will lead the airline to an even greater success, keeping it on the right track that will see it grow through many generations to come. I urge the 17,000 employees of Ethiopian and the board members to stand with the new Group CEO to keep the airline fly high. We are also thankful for the remarkable contributions of the former Group CEO.”

Mr Mesfin takes over the most profitable airline in Africa with a presence in more than six African countries through a management role or strategic partnership with the local carriers, making it the dominant player in the continent.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Addis Ababa University, a master’s in Communications Engineering from the same institution and another in Business Administration (MBA) from Open University in the UK.

Mr Tewolde, who is credited with steering the meteoric rise of the carrier for 11 years, resigned to “focus on my medical treatment.” He has been receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness in the United States for five months.

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