Group Executive Committee
Group Executive Committee
The Group Executive Committee meets every two weeks, alternating between Amsterdam and Paris, in order to determine the Group’s main orientations within the framework of the strategy approved by the Board of Directors.
Benjamin Smith is a senior airline industry veteran, having spent twenty years at Air Canada before joining Air France-KLM as Chief Executive Officer.
In 1990, while at university, he started part time as a Customer Service Agent at Air Ontario. In 1992 he followed an entrepreneurial path and established his own retail corporate travel agency, successfully running this business for eight years. In 2002 he joined Air Canada, envisioning and subsequently leading its Tango subsidiary.
Benjamin later became Vice President, Network Planning, followed by Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer in 2007, and subsequently President, Airlines (Air Canada, Rouge, Express, Cargo) and Chief Operating Officer in 2014. He assumed overall responsibility for commercial, operations, and customer service functions, and spearheaded their commercial growth strategy, resulting in impressive financial performance.
In August 2018 Benjamin Smith was appointed CEO of Air France-KLM, and in December, a member of the Air France-KLM Board of Directors.
Frédéric Gagey is a graduate of the Ecole Polytechnique and the ENSAE School of Economics, Statistics and Finance and holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the Université de Paris I.
Frédéric Gagey began his career at the French Bureau of Statistics (INSEE) and in the Ministry of Finance. Between September 1994 and April 1997, he held the positions of Vice President Budget and Control at Air Inter. Following the merger between Air Inter and Air France in April 1997, Frédéric Gagey was appointed Vice President for privatization and financial communication at Air France. In June 1999, Mr. Gagey took up the position of financial director.
He joined KLM N.V. on 1st January 2005 before becoming Executive Vice President Financial Affairs. In 2012, he was appointed Chief Financial Officer at Air France.
In 2016, Frédéric Gagey was appointed Executive Vice President Finance Air France-KLM group.
A graduate of the Mines Paris Tech, Anne Rigail joined Air Inter in 1991. In 1996, she was appointed in charge of Air France customer services at Paris-Orly. In 1999, she became director of passenger and baggage connections at the Paris-Charles de Gaulle hub, and subsequently head of customer and baggage products for Ground Operations. In 2005, she was appointed to create the Paris-CDG hub operations control centre. She became VP Ground Operations at Paris-Charles de Gaulle in 2009 . In 2013 she became EVP In-flight Services, in charge of Cabin Crew and in 2017 was appointed EVP Customer.
Anne Rigail was appointed CEO of Air France on December 12, 2018.
Pieter Elbers is an airline industry veteran with 25 years’ experience at KLM. A graduate of the Open University of Amsterdam (Master in Business Administration) and the Academy of Venlo (Bachelor in Logistics Management), he has also completed executive programmes at IMD (Lausanne), Columbia University (New York) and Tsinghua (Beijing).
Pieter Elbers started his career with KLM in 1992 as aircraft loading manager, followed by a number of managerial positions in the Netherlands as well as six years abroad (Italy, Greece and Japan). In 2005, he occupied the position of Senior Vice President Network and Alliances until 2011 when he joined the KLM Managing Board as Chief Operating Officer.
In 2014, Pieter Elbers was appointed Chairman of the KLM Managing Board.
Pieter Elbers is a member of the international advisory board of international institute of air and space law (IIASL), the advisory board of the national aerospace laboratory of the Netherlands (NLR) and the College Dutch Aerospace/”Lucht-enRuimtevaart Nederland” (LRN).
Patrick Alexandre graduated from the Paris Institut d'Etudes Politiques and the Institut Supérieur des Affaires (MBA HEC), and began his career in 1981 as junior executive at the Sudameris bank.
Mr. Alexandre joined Air France in 1982 as executive in the Scheduling Division. He then became Sales Manager for Italy from 1984 to 1988 before holding the position of Chief of Staff to the Chairman. In 1992, he was appointed General Manager for Central Europe based in Geneva. He subsequently became Deputy Senior Vice President then Senior Vice President for Europe. In 1998, he was appointed Executive Vice President International Sales Air France.
In 2008, he was appointed Chairman and CEO of Servair.
On January 1st, 2013, Mr. Alexandre joined the Air France-KLM Group Executive Committee as Executive Vice President Commercial and was appointed Executive Vice President Commercial, Sales & Alliances of Air France-KLM in September 2014.
Mr. Alexandre has been a member of the SkyTeam Executive Board since 2019. He has also been a member of the Air France Foundation’s Board of Directors since 1998.
Pieter Bootsma graduated from the Technical University of Twente (Business Engineering & Management Science, Applied Mathematics, 1992) and holds a PhD in Business Engineering & Management Science (Airline Flight Schedule Development, analysis and design tools for European hinterland hubs, Technical University of Twente, 1997). He is an alumnus of Columbia University, New York (TGM, 2004).
Mr. Bootsma joined KLM in 1995 and worked in the area of network planning and schedule development until 2000. Then he joined Pricing & Revenue Management, first being responsible for Europe (2000), later for the North Atlantic NW/KL JV (2003) and as of June 2004, he held worldwide responsibility for KLM’s Pricing & Revenue Management activities. In 2008 he was appointed director for both Air France and KLM in the field of Pricing & Revenue Management. In April 2011, he became responsible for Marketing, Revenue Management and Network (MRN) for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
Since 2013, Pieter Bootsma has been Executive Vice President Commercial & Revenue for Air France KLM. In this capacity he is responsible for the development and implementation of worldwide network and pricing and revenue management strategy for the group Air France KLM. He is also in charge of various joint venture and alliance activities of the group (Delta, China Southern, Etihad/Alitalia, Kenya Airways). Besides this, his scope includes responsibility for the group’s commercial distribution, worldwide sales and service centres and commercial innovation through system development.
Pieter Bootsma was board member of Airline Tariff Publishing Company (ATPCO, Washington, USA from 2004 until 2009).
Anne Brachet holds a diploma in engineering, a post-graduate diploma in business management and another in management studies.
Anne Brachet began her career as quality manager at Delpeyrat. She then moved to Servair, an Air France group subsidiary specialized in catering and airport ground services, where between 1994 and 1998 she was successively Head of Operations and Head of Sales, Overseas Airlines. She subsequently worked for Orgaconseil as a Senior Manager in the Industry and Services sector, returning once more to work for the Air France Group in 2000. After heading up the Aircraft supply chain until May 2004, she was subsequently appointed to run the Le Bourget Maintenance Centre, where she was mostly involved with Through Life support for the French Air Force's fleet of AWACS surveillance aircraft, and with Special Fleets, and Aerostructures maintenance.
In June 2005, Anne Brachet was appointed Head of the Air France Industries Engine Overhaul Division and has helped oversee major industrial development projects such as the integration of new generation products (GE90 and GP7200) and the construction of new maintenance facilities, including the Constellation engine shop at Orly, and Zephyr, the new engine test cell, at Roissy-CDG.
In December 2012, she was appointed SVP Engineering and Airframe for AFI, before taking the helm at Air France Industries in 2013.
In November 2016, she was appointed Executive Vice President Air France-KLM Engineering & Maintenance.
Angus Clarke has 18 years’ experience in the air transport industry. He has developed an expertise in finance and in assessing the performance of companies operating in the air transport sector.
From 2016 to 2018, he was special advisor to the Air Canada Chief Operating Officer on subjects regarding operational and economic performance. Between 2007 and 2015, Angus Clarke was Managing Director and CEO of Bluepoint Aviation, a mid-life aircraft and engine leasing and financing company. From 2004 to 2006, he was Head of Corporate Strategy at Qantas Airways.
Angus Clarke holds a Master of Science with a specialization in air transport management from Cranfield University in the UK, and a Bachelor of Arts from New South Wales University in Australia.
On February 1, 2019 he was appointed Executive Vice President Strategy of the Air France-KLM group.
Janet Dekker has 30 years of experience in international human resources positions, both in France and abroad. She holds a Master's degree in psychology from the University of Amsterdam, a Master's degree in coaching and consulting for change from INSEAD and has specialized in Intercultural Management at several major French and American universities (Sorbonne, Harvard and University of Michigan).
Janet Dekker started her career within the Honeywell Bull group in the Netherlands, France and the United States. She was SVP Human Resources at Sperian Protection in France. From 1995 to 2004, she held several positions as VP Human Resources within the Sodexo Group in both France and the United States.
In 2013, she was appointed SVP Human Resources at Sephora, part of the LVMH Group, where she was instrumental in developing a One Sephora culture, which was reflected in the very strong and consistent leadership developed worldwide across the company and within stores. She was personally involved in appointing many of the company's leaders and worked relentlessly to elevate diversity and performance, leaving Sephora with some of the strongest and highly inclusive teams in the world.
In May 2019, she joined Air France-KLM as Executive Vice President, Air France KLM, Human Resources.
Adriaan den Heijer is appointed Executive Vice President Air France-KLM Cargo.
He will join the Air France-KLM Group Executive Committee.
"I’m pleased to welcome Adriaan den Heijer as our new EVP Cargo at Air France-KLM. Adriaan brings a proven track record leading our Pricing and Revenue Management teams and has delivered excellent results. I have faith that he’ll now share his experience with the teams in Cargo and profitably grow this business, helping support the Air France-KLM Group’s goal of achieving European leadership."stated Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM.
Adriaan den Heijer holds a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Eindhoven and a Postgraduate Degree Certified Financial Management at Amsterdam University.
He joined KLM in 1995 and gained commercial and operational experience working at various positions at KLM, Air France-KLM and its Cargo division.
Adriaan was Director KLM Cargo North and West Europe from 2000-2004. He was appointed General Manager KLM for Greater China based in Hong Kong, in 2004. He subsequently assumed the position of Vice President Pricing & Revenue Management KLM Europe in 2007 before he became Vice President KLM Marketing & Brand in 2009.
In 2011 he was appointed as Senior Vice President KLM Ground Services leading the ground handling of passengers, luggage and aircraft at Schiphol Airport.
Most recently, Adriaan den Heijer has been Senior Vice President Pricing & Revenue Management for Air France-KLM, responsible for the development and implementation of the pricing and revenue management strategies for the Air France-KLM Group.
His nomination as EVP Air France-KLM Cargo is effective 1st of January 2020.
Adriaan den Heijer declared "I am very enthusiastic with my appointment as Executive Vice President of Air France-KLM Cargo. Air France-KLM Cargo is a world player with a proven track record of delivering innovative solutions and service excellence. I am looking forward to join the engaging spirit of the Air France-KLM teams in developing the cargo business for the future."
Jean-Christophe Lalanne, a Telecom Paris engineer and an IAE Paris-Sorbonne graduate, has devoted his entire career to the world of information technologies.
He has led numerous assignments in the field of information systems architecture and technologies within the Alcatel group, Sema group and subsequently at Ernst & Young consultants. At the time of Ernst & Young’s merger with Cap Gemini in 2000, he occupied several executive functions within Cap Gemini France.
In 2004, he joined Air France-KLM as assistant to the Group’s general manager of information systems. He oversaw IT strategy and contributed to the integration of the Air France and KLM information systems.
Anne-Sophie Le Lay holds a law degree from the Paris Bar and a Master's degree in Business Law and Real Estate Law.
She began her professional career in 1996 as a lawyer specializing in Business Law and Real Estate Law in Paris. She then moved to Toronto in Canada, where she worked as a consultant in a law firm.
In 2001, she joined the Legal Department of the Renault Group, initially responsible for the legal assembly of the sale of land at the former Billancourt plant. In 2007, she took charge of the environmental law, energy and real estate division. A year later, she was in charge of the Euromed region. In this capacity, she was part of the negotiating team with the Kingdom of Morocco for the implementation of the Tangiers plant. At the same time, she led transversal topics related to the Group's international development.
From 2011 to February 2018 she was Legal Director of the Renault Group within the framework of the development of the Renault-Nissan Alliance.
Anne-Sophie Le Lay is also Vice-President of the Montesquieu Circle, Association of Legal Directors and within this framework is Pedagogical Director of the Executive Master General Counsel, in partnership with Science Po Paris.
Anne-Sophie Le Lay joined the Group on February 20, 2018 as General Secretary of Air France-KLM and Air France.