Swissport restuctures management regions, Knudsen to retire

posted on 30th November 2018 by Justin Burns
Swissport restuctures management regions, Knudsen to retire

Ground handling services provider Swissport International will consolidate its existing regional structure from nine to three management regions effective from 1 January 2019.

These will be EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), Americas (USA, Canada, Latin America) and APAC (Asia-Pacific). The handler said the new structure “will reduce overheads across the organization and support faster decision making.”

The company has also announced that Joe Phelan, group chief operating officer, and Nils Pries Knudsen, group chief commercial officer (CCO), will both retire in the first half of 2019.

The new EMEA region with Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will be managed by Luzius Wirth (pictured left), 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 greater Asia-Pacific region (APAC). Phelan 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 & CEO of Swissport International.

“Our refined organizational 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 said.

Simon Messner (pictured left) currently senior vice president Europe, will take on the new 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.

Swissport said 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 CCO will largely move to the regional level for closer client relationships and market proximity.

Swissport International on behalf of more than 850 client-companies, handles approximately 4.7 million tonnes of cargo at 134 warehouses worldwide. In 2017 the Group generated consolidated operating revenue of 2.8 billion.