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John Holland-Kaye To Step Down

The Heathrow Observer

February 2023

After nine years as CEO of Heathrow Airport, John Holland-Kaye has informed the Board of his intention to stand down as CEO during 2023.

The Airport Board has extended it's gratitude to John for his exceptional leadership since 2014, building a strong management team, developing a consumer-focused culture, improving cost efficiency and putting Heathrow at the forefront of global aviation’s decarbonisation.

The transformation of the airport during John’s time as CEO has been recognised as Heathrow won a number of significant awards including: Sunday Times top 30 employer; one of the top 10 airports in the world (voted by passengers); and edie’s Sustainable Business of the Year Award.

Three of the most significant successes of John’s tenure were the development of the plan for Heathrow expansion that secured overwhelming Parliamentary approval, successfully navigating the business through the COVID-19 crisis and the recovery in demand, and his leadership in putting aviation firmly on course for net zero by 2050.

The Chair of Heathrow Airport, Lord Deighton said:

“John has been an extraordinary leader of Heathrow. During the past nine years, he has worked tirelessly and collaboratively with shareholders, Ministers, airlines and other stakeholders to ensure the country can be proud of its 'front door'. The Board would like to put on record our gratitude to John for his dedication and commitment to Heathrow throughout his tenure as CEO.”

The Board has now initiated a selection process for John’s replacement. In order to ensure a smooth handover, John will remain as CEO until his successor starts in post.

When he stepped into the hot seat at Heathrow ( a seat significantly warmer than many) John Holland-Kaye could not possibly imagine that his tenure would end with having to deal with the biggest crisis in commercial aviation history - the almost total shutdown of air transport and the near-universal closure of borders worldwide.

On top of that, in the years before the onset on the COVID-19 pandemic, Holland-Kaye has also had to be at the front of the airport's drive to build a new runway.

To have successfully seen these events through, as well as the day-to-day running of the UK's primary air transport hub, is testimony to his talent and strength.

Whoever takes over will have extremely large shoes to fill and John Holland-Kaye will be missed.

Images - Heathrow Airport Ltd.


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