More News » Laffin to pilot Flybe as chairman

FORMER SAFEWAY group finance director Simon Laffin has taken the chairman role at Flybe Group.

Laffin, who served at the former FTSE 100 retailer between 1994 and 2004, joins the FTSE-listed airline after Jim French stood down from the role after just three months.

At the time of French’s move to chairman from executive chairman in August, a review of the group’s operations led by new CEO Saad Hammad saw a reorganisation put in place.

The group’s two operating units were to merge into one unit. A number of other board changes were announced, including the departure of CFO Andrew Knuckley.

French, who had served with the business snice 1990, said he had been “privileged” to have led the company since 2001. Speaking of Laffin and Hammad, French said: “We are fortunate to have attracted two high calibre and experienced individuals to lead the group in the future. I wish Simon and Saad, the executive team and all members of staff the very best for the future.”

Laffin, who is also qualified as an instrument-rated private pilot, said: “I am delighted to be joining the board and, in particular, look forward to working with Saad Hammad. Flybe has many challenges ahead, but I believe that under the new management team the group will be developed into a leading regional aviation operator.”

Laffin is currently chairman of both the Assura Group Ltd and the audit committee at Quintain Estates. He was interviewed by sister publication Financial Director in 2001. He recently appeared at a Financial Director Evening With event on the future of e-commerce.