Picture: 123RF/Phuong Nguyen Duy
Picture: 123RF/Phuong Nguyen Duy

Dubai — Etihad Airways group CFO Mark Powers has stepped down after about a year in the job, as the Abu Dhabi state-owned carrier overhauls its business after years of heavy losses.

Powers, who joined in January 2018, resigned for personal reasons and has decided to return to the US, Etihad said. He has been replaced in the interim by senior Etihad finance executive Adam Boukadida, the airline said on Tuesday. Etihad said it is searching for a permanent replacement.

The airline did not say when Powers left.

Boukadida has served as interim group CFO since March, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Powers was hired as the airline embarked on a five-year turnaround plan after a strategy of buying stakes in other airlines collapsed, contributing to billions of dollars in losses.

Group CEO Tony Douglas said in 2018 Powers would “play a pivotal role in helping to guide Etihad onto the next stage of its development”.

Etihad reported a $1.28bn loss for 2018, down from a $1.52bn loss in 2018. It has lost $4.75bn since 2016.

Powers, a former JetBlue CFO, was hired by Etihad following a major shake-up of management that included the departure of long-serving group CEO James Hogan and group CFO James Rigney.

The airline, which launched a five-year turnaround strategy in 2017, trimmed its ambitions and started reorganising as a mid-sized carrier focused on point-to-point traffic in 2018.

In 2019, it cancelled dozens of Airbus and Boeing aircraft orders worth tens of billions of dollars.

Powers headed the finances of Etihad Aviation Group, which oversees Etihad Airways, engineering, airport, travel services units, and its investments in other carriers.