Manchester Airport Group announces Ken O’Toole as new Group CEO

Interior of Manchester Airport terminal
Photo Credit: Manchester Airport

This week Manchester Airport Group (MAG) announced that it will be appointing a new CEO to the company later in the year.

The new CEO goes by the name Ken O’Toole and will take over from the current CEO, Charlie Cornish on the 1st of October 2023. Charlie Cornish has been the CEO of MAG now for a long standing 13 years.

Currently Mr O’Toole is the Deputy CEO for MAG, with his main responsibility being strategic development of the Group’s three UK airports.

This responsibility has been particularly important for him, as the group has exited the challenges of pandemic.

As such, Mr O’Toole been in charge of the operational and commercial recovery of the group, which includes building back passenger numbers, improving customer experience and increasing colleague engagement.

Mr O’Toole has also had his fair share of working in the higher management area of businesses, having been the Chief Commercial Officer for MAG, CEO of London Stansted and CEO of Manchester Airport.

With this in mind, the transition for Ken going into CEO of MAG should be rather seamless as he carries all the experience with him.


A reshuffle of positions

With Ken O’Toole becoming the CEO of MAG in the Autumn of this year, the outgoing CEO will now become the chairman of the group.

This is because current chairman of MAG, Sir Adrian Montague, has given the board, notice that he will be retiring at the end of September this year.

This means outgoing CEO, Charlie Cornish will now become Chairman of MAG from the 1st of October at the same time Ken O’Toole takes over as CEO.

The Departures terminal at Manchester Airport
Photo Credit: Manchester Airport.

Commenting on his plans to retire, Sir Adrian Montague said, “After helping to guide MAG for nearly a decade, especially through the pandemic, and with succession to the key roles now secured, my job is essentially done and now is the right time to hand over the Chair to Charlie.”

“The speed with which people and businesses have returned to international travel shows the bright future for aviation and for MAG in particular.”

“I want to thank everyone across the company for the hard work and passion they bring every single day, and to wish Ken and Charlie the best as they take forward this next chapter in the business.”

The MAG board commented on a press release saying that they would like to thank Sir Adrian for his significant contribution to the success of the group since 2014. This includes guiding the company through challenges associated with the pandemic over the last few years.

Positive growth since 2013 up until the pandemic

With MAG acquiring London Stansted in 2013, the airport group managed to grow its passenger numbers by 45% to a peak of 62.2million in the year before the pandemic.

In addition, the launch of Manchester Airport’s £1.3billion, transformation programme in 2015 has also propelled the group in to the future, allowing for more capacity and smoother operations at the gateway to the north.

Despite a challenging set of years navigating the pandemic, MAG has found its footing again has recovered extremely well and with the appointment of Ken O’Toole to the position of CEO, growth is expected continue massively.

Incoming CEO Mr Ken O’Toole also commented on the news regarding his appointment to CEO saying, “This is an exciting time to be taking the reins for the next stage in MAG’s development.”

“Having delivered a successful recovery over the last year, the outlook for our three airports and our digital business, CAVU, is really strong.”

He added, “Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands play vital roles in their regions, and our brilliant people, supportive investors and clear plans for growth – both in the UK and overseas – mean we are primed to make the most of these opportunities.”

“I’m pleased to be leading MAG through the next phase, working with our customers, communities, airlines and stakeholders to deliver a great passenger experience and sustainable growth.”

By Lewis Chesworth 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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