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Air Canada VP Ben Smith hired for the Air France - KLM CEO position

Air Canada VP Ben Smith hired for the Air France - KLM CEO position

Old Aug 8, 18, 5:49 am
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Post Air Canada VP Ben Smith hired for the Air France - KLM CEO position

In the French newspaper, Le Monde, an article about Benjamin Smith considered for the role of CEO of Air France - KLM
https://www.lemonde.fr/economie/arti...0404_3234.html (subscribers) I don't have access to the full version but apparently he has been selected by the nominating committee.

Last edited by matthieugd; Aug 16, 18 at 10:46 am
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Old Aug 8, 18, 6:19 am
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The article suggests he is the only candidate being put forward by the nominating committee. It goes on to say that at the insistence of major shareholders Delta and China Eastern, the committee widened the selection to include foreigners, something unthinkable for the group in the past.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 6:26 am
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And how is his French ?

otherwise NON-starter
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Old Aug 8, 18, 6:41 am
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Ben Smith isn't a VP.

Originally Posted by skybluesea View Post
And how is his French ?

otherwise NON-starter
Fluent, but not native.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 7:14 am
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Originally Posted by skybluesea View Post
And how is his French ?

otherwise NON-starter
Also, how is his Dutch? It is also KLM, right?
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Old Aug 8, 18, 8:14 am
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https://www.reuters.com/article/us-a...-idUSKBN1KT12O

PARIS (Reuters) - Air France-KLM’s (AIRF.PA) nominations committee has picked Benjamin Smith, Air Canada’s (AC.TO) chief operating officer, as its preferred candidate to head the airline, French newspaper Le Monde reported on Wednesday.

Le Monde quoted an unnamed senior Air France-KLM official as saying that no decision had yet been taken and that the final decision lay with the company’s board of directors.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 9:37 am
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Wow! Ben Smith! This is a huge loss to AC.

He is a very clever, charismatic and respectfull executive (met him about 15 years ago, not too long after R. Milton moved from AC to ACE).
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Old Aug 8, 18, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by YUL View Post
Wow! Ben Smith! This is a huge loss to AC.

He is a very clever, charismatic and respectfull executive (met him about 15 years ago, not too long after R. Milton moved from AC to ACE).
A colleague of mine would certainly not agree. No further comment
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Old Aug 8, 18, 10:50 am
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Originally Posted by smallmj View Post
Also, how is his Dutch? It is also KLM, right?
The Dutch all speak English and don't have any attitude about it. The French on the other hand....
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Old Aug 8, 18, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by ajeleonard View Post
The Dutch all speak English and don't have any attitude about it. The French on the other hand....
Same logic for English Canadians; they don't bother to learn French and makes no drama about it...

(I'm obviously French Canadian...)
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Old Aug 8, 18, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by YUL View Post
Same logic for English Canadians; they don't bother to learn French and makes no drama about it...

(I'm obviously French Canadian...)
Except, it's the reverse, really. Dutch folks don't care about people speaking Dutch and are OK with English. The reverse of France or Quebec, and unrelated to English Canada.

English Canada compares with say Franch-speaking Belgians. French and Quebecers with Dutch-speaking Belgians. Dutch are beyond that in that they are OK with a different language.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by YUL:
Same logic for English Canadians; they don't bother to learn French and makes no drama about it...
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
Except, it's the reverse, really...
Ya, right!! (I spilled my coffee laughing here, your fault!)











Last edited by YUL; Aug 8, 18 at 11:57 am
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Old Aug 8, 18, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by RZR View Post
A colleague of mine would certainly not agree. No further comment
If your colleague is a front line cabin staff member, then this sentiment is shared among several cabin crew members, and IMHO means Ben is doing something right. Also, because he is being considered for the Chief Executive role at Air France/KLM, his reputation must be solid based on his work at Air Canada.

If an executive at Air Canada has finally managed to kick Air Canada up its backside by changing the corporate culture (for the better for us passengers) then all the power and praise to him. I suspect given the unionized work environment of AF/KLM, perhaps that is why they are trying to poach him.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 12:36 pm
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There's a post stating it is in fact a "fait accompli." on another aviation forum by a somewhat respected/long term member not revealing sources.


How would this affect AC?
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Old Aug 8, 18, 1:03 pm
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Can't say I agreed with him on most things, but still pleased to see him get it. It's a big gig - he wouldn't have made it this far without earning it.
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