February 21. 2024. 8:31

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Government dismisses TAP Air Portugal chairman, CEO

The government has dismissed the Chairman of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive of flag carrier TAP, Manuel Beja and Christine Ourmières-Widener, after the inspectorate of Finance (IGF) reported on the departure of board member Alexandra Reis from the company, Finance Minister Fernando Medina announced.

Medina, who was speaking on Monday in Lisbon at a joint press conference with Infrastructure Minister João Galamba, also said that “there will be no payment of compensation” to the outgoing executives.

To replace the two, Luís Rodrigues, who until now was CEO of Azorean airline SATA, has been selected to take over as chairman and CEO of TAP, said Galamba. He added that the rest of the TAP Executive Committee currently in office would not leave.

“By facing the problems head-on as we do and in a comprehensive manner, I have full confidence that TAP will successfully pursue the path to its future sustainability which will include the privatisation of part of its capital,” he said.

In December, Reis took office as secretary of state for the treasury when controversy erupted over the €500,000 compensation she received when she left the state-owned airline.

In a written statement sent to Lusa that month, Reis said that the agreement to cease her duties “as director of the companies in the TAP universe” and the revocation of her “employment contract with TAP S.A.”, both requested by TAP, as well as its public communication, was agreed between the legal teams of both parties, mandated to ensure the adoption of best practices and strict compliance with all legal precepts.

According to the IGF audit published on Monday, Reis will have to return €450,110.26 to TAP.

Regardless of whether Reis left by “resignation or dismissal for mere convenience”, she “will have to return to TAP the amounts she received following the termination of her duties as director, which amount to €443,500, to which must be added at least €6,610.26, corresponding to benefits in kind”.

(Alexandra Noronha, Pedro Emídio | Lusa.pt)