MAG appoints Ken O’Toole as group CEO

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Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has appointed Ken O’Toole as its next group CEO.  

O’Toole will take over from Charlie Cornish as group CEO on October 1, 2023. Cornish has led the business for the last 13 years. O’Toole is currently MAG’s deputy CEO, with responsibility for the strategic development of the group’s three UK airports. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, he has led the operational and commercial recovery of the group’s airport businesses, building back passenger numbers, improving customer experience and increasing colleague engagement. O’Toole joined MAG in 2012 and has held several senior executive roles at the company including chief commercial officer, chief executive of London Stansted Airport and chief executive of Manchester Airport.   

 Sir Adrian Montague, chair of MAG, has also given the board notice of his intention to retire at the end of September 2023. With a major program of investment currently underway across the group, MAG’s board has appointed Cornish as chair to provide continuity through an important period for the company. Cornish will take over the role of chair from October 1, 2023.   

Since Cornish joined as group CEO in 2010, MAG has acquired London Stansted Airport (in 2013), launched Manchester Airport’s £1.3bn (US$1.6bn) transformation program in 2015 and developed MAG’s digital travel services business, CAVU.   

Sir Adrian said, “After helping to guide MAG for nearly a decade, especially through the pandemic, and with succession to the key roles now secured, my job is essentially done and now is the right time to hand over the chair to Charlie. The speed with which people and businesses have returned to international travel shows the bright future for aviation and for MAG in particular. I want to thank everyone across the company for the hard work and passion they bring every single day, and to wish Ken and Charlie the best as they take forward this next chapter for the business.”   

Cornish commented, “The last 13 years have been an incredible time for aviation. We’ve seen fantastic opportunities and some unprecedented challenges. Through all that, it’s been a great privilege for me to build and lead the UK’s largest airports group, working with a fantastic team of colleagues to grow the organization and our contribution to the UK economy. I am delighted that Ken will be succeeding me as CEO, and I look forward to supporting MAG’s continued growth as its chair over the coming years.”   

O’Toole added, “This is an exciting time to be taking the reins for the next stage in MAG’s development. Having delivered a successful recovery over the last year, the outlook for our three airports and our digital business, CAVU, is really strong. Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands play vital roles in their regions, and our brilliant people, supportive investors and clear plans for growth – both in the UK and overseas – mean we are primed to make the most of these opportunities. I’m pleased to be leading MAG through this next phase, working with our customers, communities, airlines and stakeholders to deliver a great passenger experience and sustainable growth.”   

For more key personnel updates from the passenger terminal industry, click here. 

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