Company seeks two executives to replace Cawley
Ryanair is likely to appoint two executives to take over from outgoing chief operating officer Michael Cawley when he steps down from the role next March.
Chief executive Michael O'Leary revealed the plan yesterday following the company's annual general meeting in Dublin.
Mr Cawley, who is also a deputy chief executive of Ryanair, announced earlier this year that he had decided to leave his post in order to pursue other opportunities after being with the company since 1997.
He will remain as a non-executive director of the Ryanair board.
Asked by the Irish Independent if there are plans under way to replace Mr Cawley, Mr O'Leary confirmed that there are.
"We will be advertising it very shortly, certainly internally, possibly externally," he said.
"But we have a number of good candidates internally who could replace him.
"One of the features of Ryanair's business model over the last 10 years is that we have a succession plan in place for every senior management position.
"In all cases there would be an internal succession plan, and that gives you the flexibility to look elsewhere as well."
Mr O'Leary said Mr Cawley's departure would not herald any major management shake-up among the tight senior executive coterie, but revealed that Mr Cawley's current responsibilities would be spread among a greater number of people.
"His is an enormous area and we would probably divide the area up a little bit," said Mr O'Leary.
He said that would probably involve separating some of the sales and marketing activity as the carrier embarks on a bigger push for its digital marketing strategy over the next year or two.
"I suspect the area will get divided up and we'll appoint two new senior managers rather than one," he added.
Mr O'Leary said the new "softer" image Ryanair plans to project will not require changes in senior management.
He also said the company has no plans to move its primary stock exchange listing from Dublin, but added that if it was ever to do so, the most natural destination for a main listing would probably be the United States.
Ryanair already has shares listed there.