Aer Lingus PR chief quits amid executive exodus

DUBLIN: Aer Lingus’s top comms officer has quit the Irish state airline in the wake of the resignation last week of CEO Willie Walsh and two other senior executives.

Aer Lingus media and PR manager Grainne O’Malley said she was leaving the national carrier. She is to take up a communications post with Irish telecoms company Eircom.

She insisted that her exit was not related to those of Walsh or Aer Lingus chief operations officer Seamus Kearney and chief financial officer Brian Dunne who resigned last Monday.

‘I planned my departure some time ago,’ O’Malley told PRWeek.

No reasons have been given for the departure of Aer Lingus’s top three executives, but the Irish press have claimed the trio were frustrated by the government’s failure to privatise it.

Irish prime minister Bertie Ahern last week defended his decision to reject management’s request for outside financial backing, a move many interpreted at the time as an MBO attempt.

Goldman Sachs has delivered a report on Aer Lingus to the Irish government, which is said to recommend privatisation with the state retaining a 25 per cent stake.

O’Malley said Aer Lingus’s outgoing management was not in talks with financial comms agencies and it would continue to work with Drury Communications.

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