Ilker Ayci turns down offer to be Air India’s new CEO

MUMBAI — Former Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci, who was named by Tata Group a fortnight back to head Air India, on Tuesday turned down the offer saying his appointment has been “coloured” by the Indian media.

“My appointment at Air India within Tata Group was announced earlier in February, with a start date of April 1st. Since the announcement, I have been carefully following news in some sections of the Indian media attempting to colour my appointment with undesirable colours,” Ayci said in a statement.

On February 14, Tata Group announced that the board of Air India after “due deliberations approved the appointment” of Ilker Ayci as the CEO & MD of Air India. Ayci appointment was approved in the board meeting in which N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, was a special invitee.

Ayci said he recently met Chandrasekaran and ‘regretfully’ informed him about his decision of declining the position.

“As a business leader who has always prioritised professional credo and more importantly, the happiness and well being of my family above all else, I have come to the conclusion that it would not be a feasible or an honourable decision to accept the position in the shadow of such narrative,” Ayci said.

“It is with a heavy heart that I make this decision, and I wish Air India and the Tata Group, a global enterprise which I greatly admire every success,” he added.

In January this year, Tata Group took over management and control of Air India from the government. — (ANI)