Swissport consolidates regional structures as it looks to create efficiencies

Groundhandler Swissport International will consolidate its existing regional structure from nine to three management regions.

These will be EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Americas (US, Canada, Latin America) and APAC (Asia-Pacific).
The new structure, effective from January 1, will reduce overheads across the organisation and support faster decision making, Swissport said.

The new EMEA region will be managed by Luzius Wirth, currently executive vice president UK & Ireland and member of group executive management.
Glenn Rutherford, presently in charge of Swissport in Australia and New Zealand, will be heading up the region APAC.
Joe Phelan, currently group chief operating officer, will temporarily head the Americas Region, until a permanent internal or external candidate is appointed.
The three regional heads on group executive level will report to Eric Born, president and chief executive.

“Our refined organisational setup brings executive management closer to our customers and our operations. More accountability will be delegated into the enlarged regions. The Regional Heads and their management teams will take full responsibility for commercial matters,” Born explained.

In another move, Simon Messner, currently senior vice president Europe, will assume the role of executive vice president “Performance & Innovation” on group executive level.
In this role he will drive operational standards, manage quality, health, safety and environmental standards and oversee commercial governance.
Future product development, innovation and fleet management will also fall under the scope of this new unit.

As the existing setup with nine regional management teams will be consolidated into three areas, the regional heads will replace the chief operating officer on group level.
The responsibilities of the chief commercial officer will largely move to the regional level for closer client relationships and market proximity.

The new structure is part of a scheduled succession plan. Joe Phelan, group chief operating officer, and Nils Pries Knudsen, group chief commercial officer, will retire in the first half of 2019.
All other managers on Group Executive level remain in their current roles.

Rumours continue to circulate that the handler is a takeover target.

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