Tuesday 27 June 2017

Mannion in departures after short time at helm

His compensation clause plan didn't impress the board or shareholders

DERMOT Mannion exited Aer Lingus in April 2009 after four turbulent years at the top. When the airline floated at €2.20 a share in 2006, a bright future beckoned. But by the date Mr Mannion left, the share price had tanked to just 67¢. His compensation is believed to have hit close to €1m.

Aged only 52, Mannion's leadership was dogged by disaster. His attempt to write a clause into his contract allowing him to take compensation of €2.8m if the airline was taken over by a hostile bidder (Ryanair) did not impress some shareholders or board members, including the new chairman, Colm Barrington. He was forced to rescind the deal. His relations with Barrington were strained.

Dreadful results in early 2009, a grim outlook and chronic cash burn sealed the fate of the short- serving CEO.

Despite shaking off two hostile bids from Ryanair, Mannion never managed to turn the former national carrier around. Prior to his appointment at Aer Lingus, Mannion was an executive at Emirate Airlines; now rumour has it that he is heading back to scour the desert for his next posting.

Sunday Independent

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