Many business publications are reporting that Colombian airline Avianca’s board of directors has appointed Aeromexico’s Anko Van Der Werff as the airline’s new CEO. Van Der Werff has been serving for the past 5 years with Aeromexico, most recently as Aeromexico’s Chief Revenue Officer, and has apparently resigned from the Mexican carrier as of June 6. Before Aeromexico, Van Der Werff served as vice president of pricing for Qatar Airways.
Still, when contacted by Finance Colombia regarding the personnel change, Avianca shared their official 6-K filing with the United States Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). The 6-K filing, filed June 12 reads as follows:
“With respect to the news recently published in the media where names of different industry executives were mentioned as possible candidates to assume as President of Avianca Holdings S.A., the Company informs that the selection process being carried out by a prestigious international executive selection is still ongoing and that the Board of Directors will evaluate the final candidates and shall make the final decision. In the meeting held yesterday, the Board of Directors did not appoint a new President of Avianca Holdings S.A.”
Update: Avianca board appoints Van Der Werff as new CEO – read more here
As a publicly traded company, it would be illegal to mislead the SEC. It seems then settled that Avianca has not in fact appointed Van Der Werff or anyone else as CEO so far, though the board may end up actually appointing Mr. Van Der Werf. The timing seems more than coincidental that Van Der Werff resigned from Aeromexico with no other career announcements made while Avianca is conducting its search after former CEO Hernan Rincón resigned abruptly to among other things, “study astronomy.”