Norwegian Air appoints new CEO to lead restructuring

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OSLO (Reuters) – Loss-making Norwegian Air (OL:) has appointed a new chief executive to take charge of the budget carrier’s ongoing restructuring, the board said on Wednesday.

Jacob Schram, who joins Norwegian from being an advisor at McKinsey, replaces Bjoern Kjos, the company’s founder who stepped down in July after building the carrier into Europe’s third-largest budget airline.

Schram, 57, led the process in 2010 to list Statoil’s petrol station business, Statoil (OL:) Fuel and Retail, later acquired by Canada’s Couche-Tard (TO:) to become Circle K.

“His extensive management experience from global companies, proven leadership skills, strong commercial consumer orientation and impressive track record of value creation will greatly benefit Norwegian as the company enters into a new phase,” board Chairman Niels Smedegaard said in a statement.

Since July, Norwegian has been run on an interim basis by Chief Financial Officer Geir Karlsen, who has raised cash, postponed debt payments, sold off assets and cut unprofitable routes to keep the company alive.

Karlsen will now continue as CFO as well as deputy CEO.

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