AC CEO to Retire in February

Old Oct 16, 20, 7:23 am
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AC CEO to Retire in February

Calin is retiring. To be succeeded by Michael Rousseau.

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/air-cana...uary-1.1509127
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Old Oct 16, 20, 11:30 am
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This is sad news for AC employees. Calin has been a steady and trustworthy hand. Rousseau is a good choice.
I just wonder what Ben Smith is thinking now. I know AFKLM is a huge airline, but AC was his baby. Just a side thought.
Thanks very much to Calin.
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Old Oct 16, 20, 1:10 pm
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Understand he’s of the age where retirement makes sense, and his accomplishments are worthy, but the optics around the timing - at the deepest nadir in the company’s history - still look poor.

When the going gets tough, get going!

No doubt the board will approve a healthy consultancy fee for him as they emerge from this rough spell.
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Old Oct 16, 20, 1:51 pm
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Rovinescu's not leaving until Feb. so not a short-notice exit as has been the case at a number of other companies during this crisis. He's also held the top job for a long slog so don't fault him for wanting to pass the baton to someone else as these challenging times could last for another 18 - 24 months.

Rovinescu also has a capable deputy groomed and ready to step in to help ensure stability whereas if he stayed on for another two years, for example, that may not be the case if Rousseau were to move on like Ben Smith did.
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Old Oct 16, 20, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer View Post
Understand he’s of the age where retirement makes sense, and his accomplishments are worthy, but the optics around the timing - at the deepest nadir in the company’s history - still look poor.
I disagree, the 2003 bankruptcy was probably the nadir. No one knows right now, 2021 could be worse, but the company he has been heading is in much better shape than it was post 9-11.
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Old Oct 16, 20, 11:57 pm
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Only four replies to this. I though there would have been 4 pages by now.

It seems common for CEO's to depart when the tragectory of a company changes.
Calin has been around a long time.He led the company through a great growth phase.
He seems to have a great rapport with employees.
Now that layoffs and tough love are in order, it's time for a CEO who isn't as emotionally linked to the employees.
In five years when times are better, a new CEO will come in. Mr. Smith? and lead AC through the next growth phase.

How much does the price of Rovinescu's stock options have to do with retirement?

P.S. I've said in the past, the elimination of Rouge will be announced within a year or Rovinescu's retirement.
The clock is ticking.
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Old Oct 17, 20, 12:43 am
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Originally Posted by tracon View Post
He seems to have a great rapport with employees.
You and I have been talking to very different groups of employees.
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Old Oct 17, 20, 5:52 am
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I keep watching the stock price, AC was doing well before the crises, not an orphan and widow stock, I missed the boat when it was $11 and rose to three times, as I could have cashed out. I am unsure of the new CEO with Westjet under the new ownership of what will happen. Many folks are afraid of their own shadows right now and yet, many folks want to fly and continue living their lives. Many obstacles in the way right now with restrictions, fear, and anxiety. Will Westjet be competitive again, will Porter come back and if so, what will it look like?

Air Canada should continue to get better, militant union attitudes have softened over the years as the old outdated employees have moved on. I am hopeful that Air Canada will continue to prosper as Canada's Airline and continue to be a world leader. I am biased because I been flying Air Canada since I was in the womb oh so many years ago, lol.
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Old Oct 17, 20, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by tracon View Post
Only four replies to this. I though there would have been 4 pages by now.

It seems common for CEO's to depart when the tragectory of a company changes.
Calin has been around a long time.He led the company through a great growth phase.
He seems to have a great rapport with employees.
Now that layoffs and tough love are in order, it's time for a CEO who isn't as emotionally linked to the employees.
In five years when times are better, a new CEO will come in. Mr. Smith? and lead AC through the next growth phase.

How much does the price of Rovinescu's stock options have to do with retirement?

P.S. I've said in the past, the elimination of Rouge will be announced within a year or Rovinescu's retirement.
The clock is ticking.

Interesting observations.

My conversations with AC employees led me to conclude that there were many who respected Calin's skills and what he was able to do for Air Canada. Some may or may not have liked his personality. Then there were those who were team Ben. But when his name comes up in conversation with many other employees, the responses are negative. In late 2015, one senior person told me that AC was going to buy out Calin's contract and Ben would get the job. I didn't think that would happen based on my own views. Ben is not Calin and may not be what AC needs. Later on, there were references made that Ben got tired of waiting for the throne, as it were, and left to AF, taking some AC employees with him.

In some industries, I suspect having a leader who everyone likes might matter more than the leader who can do what someone like Calin has done for AC.

I've often heard that "Calin loves a good crisis" or "Calin never misses an opportunity that a crisis presents". I've never met the man but I can't think of anyone else who could have steered AC through the various industry challenges, or the record profit they had last year.
.

Last edited by 24left; Oct 17, 20 at 9:58 am Reason: spelling
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Old Oct 17, 20, 10:45 am
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The change at AC should not come as a surprise to anyone as Mr. Rousseau was appointed Deputy Chief Executive Officer almost 2 years ago in January 2019. This was in addition to his CFO position held since 2007. It is a calming selection and will reassure investors and stakeholders, especially with CEO Calin's responsible exit strategy.

As a reminder, Mr. Rousseau is a CPA with extensive knowledge and experience of Air Canada's taxation, pension procurement and corporate real estate issues and activities. I believe it is common sense to recognize that the airline's key survival issues for the next 2-4 years are going to be heavily weighted to finance. The selection of new dinner plates, or advertising campaigns or uniforms etc. are not going to be a priority. Cost control and government support will be the core issues. This makes Mr. Rousseau the ideal transition CEO to get the airline through its survival period and well into its recovery period. No one is better positioned than him right now to know what needs to be done. After this period, it will be a different set of circumstances.

Mr. Smith would not have been the best candidate for the airline. Had it been a period of growth with its specific market needs, perhaps Mr. Smith with his background as an Air Canada sales agent and then as a travel agency operator may have been a good fit. Unfortunately, all decisions are going to be dominated by fiscal issues, especially pension and debt obligations. As low as the airline's debt is and as well managed its pension plans, that status was achieved in a period of financial stability and growth. Now, the airline is facing a catastrophic loss of income and must manage the financial obligations very differently.
Under the current circumstance, one could not do better than this.
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Old Oct 18, 20, 5:42 pm
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Originally Posted by tracon View Post

P.S. I've said in the past, the elimination of Rouge will be announced within a year or Rovinescu's retirement.
The clock is ticking.
Curious as to why you say this. Genuinely. I don't know enough of the backgrounds to have an opinion one way or another. Just an interesting topic you brought up.

(Did try searching but was difficult to pinpoint if you had discussed this at length.)
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Old Oct 18, 20, 5:46 pm
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He only cared about the money. He didn't put Air Canada on a better path in terms of ethics, doing the right thing or social responsibility. In North America, Delta, Southwest and Alaska are the best in this regard.

He's a heartless cold blooded greedy reptile.
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Last edited by tcook052; Oct 25, 20 at 12:41 pm Reason: unnecessarily provocative
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Old Oct 19, 20, 12:43 am
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Originally Posted by hoipolloi View Post
He only cared about the money. He didn't put Air Canada on a better path in terms of ethics, doing the right thing or social responsibility. In North America, Delta, Southwest and Alaska are the best in this regard.

He's a heartless cold blooded greedy reptile.

Not wishing him a long or healthy retirement
His job as CEO wasn't to be socially responsible, it was to earn money for the shareholders. I suspect most shareholders would disagree with you, seeing their investment grow 30 times in the last decade pre covid. I wasn't on the bandwagon, but I haven't been a fan of airlines which are a notorious roller coaster (cf POST Covid.)
Shareholders only typically care if the behaviour is so scandalous as to cause irreparable damage to the brand, which probably wasn't the case, despite our disagreements with corporate policy.
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Old Oct 19, 20, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Bluefan75 View Post
Curious as to why you say this. Genuinely. I don't know enough of the backgrounds to have an opinion one way or another. Just an interesting topic you brought up.

(Did try searching but was difficult to pinpoint if you had discussed this at length.)
My opinion only. No scientific evidence.

None of these airlines within an airline have ever lasted.
RV was started under Calin. It's served it's purpose.
Now, the fleet, seating is mostly as dense as Rouge.
The market, not much need for old beaters at the moment.
Now that Calin is on his way out, new guy will come in.
Shake things up, staffing, fleet and configuration wise.
In my opinion, that means Rouge will soon be gone.
When things are ready to boom in a couple years, TS will be there.
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Old Oct 20, 20, 12:11 am
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Originally Posted by tracon
tragectory
Clever. Not sure if that was intended; well done if so.
Originally Posted by FlY2XS
His job as CEO wasn't to be socially responsible, it was to earn money for the shareholders.
The two don't have to be mutually exclusive - a possibility most large companies have not yet grasped.

AC may have performed well for shareholders and it may have been positive for employees, but for so many customers, it holds a special status as a perennially miserable entity.
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