Ramiro Sequeira appointed as interim CEO of TAP

Responsible for the operations of the national carrier, he is appointed as the next interim CEO of TAP. The short-list to replace Antonoaldo Neves as a “transitory solution” also included the name of Valter Fernandes, CEO of Portugália Airlines.

Ramiro Sequeira, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TAP and Valter Fernandes, CEO of Portugália Airlines, are the names on the short-list to succeed Antonaldo Neves at the head of TAP, whose choice for interim leadership should remain closed until this Friday on July 31, revealed a source close to the process to Jornal Económico. Ramiro Sequeira will have already signaled availability to accept the position and Valter Fernandes the desire to continue ahead of Portugália. The name of TAP's interim CEO should be closed this Friday, July 31, before the Minister of Infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, goes on vacation.

The names of Valter Fernandes and Ramiro Sequeira, later appeared if David Pedrosa, the son of the president of Barraqueiro and a private shareholder of TAP, was appointed to succeed TAP's CEO, Antonoaldo Neves. David Pedrosa was a “preferential” solution for TAP administrators appointed by the State. But a temporary solution for only six months and intending to continue with his team will have led the manager to decline his position. TAP's leadership will go through the silver of the house.

Ramiro Sequeira started his duties on August 6, 2018 as COO of TAP and arrived in Portugal with extensive professional experience in aviation, in which he stands out for 12 years in the IAG Group (British Airways and Iberia), where he performed operational functions. At the time, in an interview with the TAP newspaper, he defended that the challenges must be faced with “WELL” - Good Sense, Effort and Methodology. JE knows that Ramiro Sequeira, seen as “a good professional” and as someone who “knows the sector well”, will have already signaled his availability to accept being interim CEO of TAP.

Valter Fernandes, according to the same source, expressed his desire to remain in the leadership of Portugália, a company of the TAP group, a position he assumed in January 2018, having started his activity in the aviation sector in 2011 as Project Manager at TAP M&E (Maintenance and Engineering) in Lisbon.

The departure of the Brazilian CEO occurred after the signing of Neeleman's exit agreement, July 17, after all legal formalities were concluded in an agreement that prevented the nationalization of TAP after the American businessman and the shareholders of the Brazilian company Azul had agree to waive the right to convert TAP's bonds, worth 90 million euros, into shares.

With a gap in TAP's leadership, the choice of interim CEO was expected this week. JE questioned the Ministry of Infrastructure about the airline's new leadership, and an official source said there were no comments.

Thus, the official announcement of the decision on the new CEO is awaited, two weeks after the Council of Ministers granted a loan of up to 1.200 million euros to TAP, in accordance with the decision of the European Commission, an injection that had light green with the signing of the agreement for the departure of David Neeleman from TAP.

As a result, the Portuguese State now holds a total social stake of 72,5% and the corresponding economic rights in TAP SGPS, for the amount of 55 million euros, with the acquisition of the stake (22,5%) held by David Neeleman . Entrepreneur Humberto Pedrosa now holds 2,5% and workers the remaining 5%.

Antonoaldo Neves joined TAP, by the hand of David Neeleman, and his departure from the leadership of the company, with the conclusion of the exit agreement of the North American businessman from the airline, became inevitable. In this regard, the Minister of Infrastructure, Pedro Nuno Santos, has already stated that the stay of the current CEO in the company “would not make sense”, taking into account that the agreement in principle, reached on July 2 and formalized on July 17 that dictated the departure of the shareholder responsible for hiring the Brazilian manager, businessman David Neeleman.

Pedro Nuno Santos signaled the “immediate replacement” of Antonoaldo Neves, at the press conference announcing the agreement of principle that guarantees the State 72,5% of TAP, after buying Neeleman's position: “There is the departure of one of the main shareholders, it was difficult to explain that the CEO [executive chairman] would continue ”.

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