INTERNATIONAL: Lufthansa names its new comms director

FRANKFURT: Lufthansa has appointed a new communications director following the departure of Gabriele Velte after only six months in the job (PR Week, 23 July).

FRANKFURT: Lufthansa has appointed a new communications director

following the departure of Gabriele Velte after only six months in the

job (PR Week, 23 July).



Klaus Walther, 44, currently director of communication at Europe’s

largest natural gas importer Ruhrgas AG in Essen, will take over the

post before the end of the year.



Velte joined Lufthansa in January from Germany’s largest PR agency,

Kohtes and Klewes, where she was managing partner in charge of the

Frankfurt office, but was soon criticised for hiring K&K to lobby for an

extension to Frankfurt airport. Her re-structuring of the communications

department was also unpopular.



Walther would not comment on whether he might seek to reverse the

changes Velte introduced, namely the splitting of the 35-strong

department into four separate divisions, and the relocation of the press

office from the passenger-carrying business into the group

headquarters.



Walther, who prior to working for Ruhrgas was a news anchor with German

national channel ZDF, said he would enjoy working in the aviation

industry, where he had experience from his journalistic career and

national service.



’Once you get experience within the aviation industry you get addicted

to it,’ he said.



Since her departure, Velte’s predecessor Josef Grendel, who retired this

year, has filled the post on an interim basis.



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