Star Alliance Completes its Management Structure; New CEO to Lead Management Team

Jan 29, 2001, 00:00 ET from Star Alliance

    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
     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