CHICAGO, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Star Alliance, the airline network for Earth, has announced the completion of its full-time Alliance Management Team (AMT), the alliance's executive body. Effective February 1, 2001, William L. Meaney assumes the position of Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Friedel Rodig who retires after guiding the Alliance in various functions since its inception and founding in May 1997. Four other AMT executives responsible for Strategic Development Areas (SDAs) have also been formally appointed: Louise McKenven Vice President, Marketing Rick S. Merkatz Vice President, Sales Horst E. Findeisen Vice President, Global Network Brock Friesen Vice President, Strategy Under the leadership of the CEO and Deputy CEO & Chief Administration Officer, Bruce Harris, the AMT develops policies and plans, implements products and operates budgets. Other SDAs within the AMT include Seamless Service and Product Development (led by Per Stendebakken), Information Technology (Tim Moore), Purchasing (Alan Mauger), Human Relations (Dan Grenier) and Corporate Communications (Christian Klick). The Alliance Management Team reports to the Alliance's highest governing body, the Chief Executive Board (CEB), comprised of the chief executives of Star Alliance member airlines, and the Alliance Management Board (AMB), chaired by Air Canada's Vice President, Alliances and International Affairs, Ross MacCormack. "Friedel Rodig has built a strong foundation on which Star Alliance has evolved from its creation in 1996 to today, where this team of 15 airlines represents the strongest global airline partnership. Star Alliance is now uniquely positioned to deliver on its promise of seamless global travel," said James E. Goodwin, United Airlines Chief Executive Officer. Lufthansa Chairman Jurgen Weber added: "This group of experienced managers headed by Bill Meaney will drive an ambitious plan to deliver new products and services to the international travelling public and thus contribute to the benefits which all Star Alliance member airlines draw from our partnership." The handover of leadership took place at the regular summit of the airlines presidents and CEOs held in Cancun, Mexico. Fernando Flores, President and Chairman of Mexicana de Aviacion, the most recent member to join Star Alliance, welcomed his colleagues to a two day working session. "Content and quality of our discussions," summed up Mr. Flores, "demonstrate once more the commitment which each of our airlines brings along to let Star Alliance maintain its lead over the competition." Bill Meaney, Star Alliance's new Chief Executive officer has served as Executive Vice President Alliances, Network Management and Global Sales for South African Airways during the last two and a half years of its turnaround. Prior to this assignment, he worked as strategic consultant across numerous industries and was CEO of a South African pharmaceutical company. Mr. Meaney will be based in Frankfurt, Germany. Louise McKenven, appointed Vice President, Marketing, has chaired marketing communications activities at Star Alliance since its founding in 1997. Previously, she headed Marketing Communications and Brand Management at Air Canada. Her new responsibilities include Brand Development, Marketing Communications and Frequent Flyer Program harmonization across the Alliance. Richard. S. Merkatz has been named Vice President, Star Alliance and head of Sales as a Strategic Development Area. In this role he will be responsible for all joint sales activities of the alliance. Mr. Merkatz joined United Airlines in 1974 and has held a number of sales and marketing management positions within the world's largest airline. Prior to his Star Alliance assignment, Richard Merkatz was Director of International Market/Sales Planning at United's world headquarters in Chicago, a position he held since 1995. Horst E. Findeisen has joined the AMT as Vice President and in charge of the strategic development area Global Network. He succeeds Ross MacCormack of Air Canada, who is now Chairman of the Star Alliance Management Board that oversees the AMT. Mr. Findeisen comes from the position of General Manager, Network Management -- Alliances at Lufthansa. Since he joined the German airline in 1982, Horst Findeisen's career has encompassed a number of management positions both within the passenger airline as well as with Lufthansa Cargo. Brock Friesen served as Vice President, Alliances at Canadian Airlines (since acquired by Air Canada) before he was named to the Star Alliance Management Team as Vice President, Strategy. Since 1986, he was responsible for Canadian Airlines' alliances with other airlines. Prior to joining the air transport industry, Mr. Friesen was a senior policy advisor for British Columbia's Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. He also invented and patented the first single-engine hovercraft.
SOURCE Star Alliance