Another high profile departure from air cargo as Bijaoui leaves WFS
01 / 07 / 2016
Ground handler Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has confirmed that chief executive Olivier Bijaoui has left the company.
WFS group chief operating officer Barry Nassberg will assume the interim leadership responsibilities.
The company declined to comment on personnel changes to reflect confidentiality, but it is understood the split is amicable.
The company was taken over by Platinum Equity in October last year and has been rapidly growing since then with several high profile acquisitions, led by Bijaoui.
These include the purchase of a 51% stake in Fraport Cargo Services in November and in January it swooped on Consolidated Aviation Services to spread its global reach in the US.
At the time of the WFS acquisition, Bijaoui had spoken of having a shopping list of acquisitions in the US, Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East.
Bijaoui said at the time: “It is the start of a new and exciting chapter in our long history and with Platinum Equity’s operational support and financial strength we can now build on the growth we have achieved in recent years.”
Nassberg joined WFS more than 20 years ago, initially working in Europe during the company’s time as a subsidiary of American Airlines, and later in Asia as he led the company’s rapid growth in regions outside of Europe and North America.
"WFS is a strong and growing company with dedicated employees throughout the organization and strong leaders at every level," said Nassberg.
"Our recent acquisition of CAS has all the potential we expected and the integration of our companies is proceeding ahead of schedule.
“We also have several new business wins coming on line and a robust pipeline of additional opportunities."
Nassberg said WFS has strong momentum and is confident business will continue as usual during the transition.
Bastian Lueken, head of the European investment team at Platinum Equity, which acquired WFS last year, said WFS’s strategic growth plan is well on track.
"Teams throughout the company are performing at a high level with an intense focus on serving customers," said Lueken. "We are pleased with the direction the company is headed and are fully committed to supporting its long-term strategic plan."
Lueken said he expects a seamless transition and that a thorough global search for a new chief executive will identify the right candidate to lead the combined organization into the future.
It is the second high profile departure in the air cargo industry in as many days. Yesterday, Cargolux confirmed that chief executive and president Dirk Reich would be stepping down for personal reasons to be replaced by Richard Forson.