Home News Why Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam resigned

Why Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gebremariam resigned


The Chief Executive Officer(CEO) of Ethiopian Airlines, Mr Tewolde Gebremariam, has resigned after over a decade of impactful leadership and catapulting the airline into a global position. He joined Ethiopian Airlines in 1985 and became CEO in 2011.

Business Insider Africa gathered that Mr Gebremariam’s decision to resign was to give him adequate time to focus on his health, as he receives treatment for an undisclosed ailment in a US hospital.

The CEO explained that his doctors advised him to retire now and concentrate on healing he said in a letter that was addressed to Ethiopian Airline’s staff members, a copy of which was seen by The East African, “Under my current health issues and medical treatment I am not able to return to the office any time soon. Therefore, I took the decision of retiring early to carry on with my medical treatment. My resignation request to the government has been accepted.

Together, we have (made) history in the last decade in which we have grown the airline from $1 billion annual turnover to $4.5 billion, from 33 airplanes to 130 airplanes, (and) from three million passengers to 12 million passengers (pre-Covid), and in general we have expanded the airline by four-fold in all measurements.”


Mr Gebremariam who has worked at the Ethiopian Airlines for 37 years since joining in 1985, took over as CEO in 2011.

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Over the 11-year period, he led the state-owned airline through a very important transformative phase which saw fleet size increasing from 50 to 130. Ethiopian Airlines has grown largely to become a major player in both local, regional and international routes. At the moment, it is the largest airline in Africa.

Contributing immensely to the growth of the company has led to a big success in Ethiopia’s air transport sector. In 2019, the sector contributed a whooping $4.2 billion to the GDP of the Horn of Africa country.


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