NEIL Pakey is to leave his role as head of the Shannon Group next year when his contract ends, it has been confirmed.
Mr Pakey will not have his contract renewed when it expires in June of next year.
A statement from the Shannon Group confirmed the departure, with Mr Pakey saying he was looking forward to a “new challenge” having completed the agreed three-year term as CEO.
“I’ve worked with a great management team and a great Board and we’ve really transformed the Shannon Group during the past three years,” he said.
“We’ve put it on a sound financial and commercial footing, we’ve expanded operations, won new contracts, grown passenger and visitor numbers and won numerous awards. We are running what is predominately a people and service business and the employees are proving to be the lynchpin of the success and I would like to give credit where it’s due.
“I would like to thank the Board for having given me the opportunity as well as for their support during the last 3 years. There’s an exciting future ahead for the Group and I wish the Board well in recruiting a new CEO to carry on this work,” he added.
The Scot, who has more 30 years’ experience in the industry and was formerly managing director of John Lennon Airport in Liverpool, was appointed to the position by the board of the Shannon Airport Authority – now Shannon Group – in May 2013, just a matter of months after the airport received independence and control of its own affairs.
He has overseen a period of growth in the airport and across the heritage group he oversees, with confirmation just last week that King John’s Castle is to hit 100,000 visitors before year end. Likewise, the airport has seen traffic grow at around 20% since independence, while sales are up 20% this year in the Duty Free, he told the Limerick Leader recently.
Mr Pakey also oversaw the restoration of the popular regional service from Shannon to Edinburgh from March next year, which was a major focus of his plans in recent months.
Shannon Group chair Rose Hynes said that Mr Pakey “came on board as CEO at an exciting time for Shannon as it embarked on life as an independent entity and during his tenure many milestones have been achieved.
“From an airport perspective we have returned Shannon to growth following five years of successive decline and by the end of 2015 passenger numbers will be up by 22% from where we started out,” she said.
She also noted positive developments in the sphere of Shannon Commercial Properties, the establishment of the International Aviation Services Centre at Shannon and growing visitor numbers to the sites controlled by Shannon Heritage.
“All of this happened with Neil Pakey as CEO, playing a key role in leading the team in the rebirth of Shannon as a catalyst for growth for the entire region,” she said.
“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Neil for this vital contribution to the revitalisation of Shannon Airport and formation of the wider group. He will leave in June with Shannon Group on a very positive footing, primed for growth, and we now embark on the task of appointing his successor.”
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