René de Groot steps down as Chief Operating Officer of KLM
René de Groot has informed KLM’s Supervisory Board that he will be stepping down as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of KLM effective 15 July, thus bidding farewell to KLM. This announcement follows his decision to take up a position with another airline.
René de Groot was appointed COO in November 2014 and began his first term as a member of KLM’s statutory Board of Managing Directors in April 2015. He was reappointed in 2019, with his second term originally due to end in 2023. In addition to his role as COO, De Groot carries responsibility for KLM’s Air Operator Certificate in relation to the Dutch Civil Aviation Authority. He will also resign from this position effective 15 July.
As a result of his departure, KLM’s Supervisory Board has initiated the procedure to find a successor. KLM hopes to be able to fill the vacancy at short notice. Safeguarding the responsibilities and tasks of the COO is assured within the organisation.
Having first joined KLM in 1990, René has a long track record at KLM. He has contributed enormously to KLM, both in his role as a commercial pilot and later in management, and over the last eight years as COO and statutory Managing Director. We would like to thank him very much for his unswerving commitment and wish him all the very best in his new role.
After 32 fantastic years at KLM, I have decided to spread my wings and continue my career at British Airways as Chief Operating Officer. I realise that my departure comes at a turbulent time for KLM, but I leave the airline in the knowledge that the road to recovery has begun and that the organisation will be able to do so despite the continuing challenges. I thank KLM for all the opportunities I have been given and all my colleagues and partners for their confidence, cooperation and what I have been able to learn from them. That and all the fond memories I have will always stay with me in my career moving forward.