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Virgin Atlantic announces appointments to Leadership Team

Virgin Atlantic has announced two crucial appointments to its senior leadership team.

The UK airline has confirmed that Estelle Hollingsworth will take up the position of Chief People Officer, meanwhile Oliver Byers has been in the role of Chief Financial Officer since September 2020.

As Chief People Officer, Estelle will be responsible for ensuring the airline’s people can thrive at work, by creating inclusive experiences that energise teams and drive its vision to be the most loved travel company. Estelle brings over 25 years of People experience to the role, most recently as Vice President, Cabin at the airline, leading its cabin crew. Estelle joined Virgin Atlantic as Vice President, People Experience where she was responsible for talent, leadership development and learning across the company. Previously, she spent three decades working across sectors including hospitality, financial services, defence and aviation, having joined the airline from BAE Systems, where she was UK HR director, Talent and Organisational Effectiveness.

Estelle Hollingsworth, Chief People Officer, Virgin Atlantic, said: “The unique spirit, and innovation of our people at Virgin Atlantic is what differentiates us. I feel so privileged to be moving into the role of Chief People Officer, where my focus will be to recognise what we have been through together as a company this year and to create a unique people experience, to be the best at what we do and ultimately delight each and every one of our customers.”

Following his instrumental role in securing new investment for the successful private-only, solvent recapitalisation of the airline in September 2020, Oliver Byers has been promoted to Chief Financial Officer. Oliver will focus on rebuilding the airline’s balance sheet and creating a platform for it to become sustainably profitable.

Oliver brings more than ten years of commercial aviation experience from Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Group and has held several leadership roles including Senior Vice President Revenue Management; Senior Vice President Global Sales & Loyalty; Senior Vice President Data & Customer Loyalty; and Chief of Staff. Oliver currently serves as an alternate Board Member for Virgin Atlantic Limited.

Oliver Byers, Chief Financial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, said: “I am proud and excited to be taking on the Chief Financial Officer role at a crucial moment in the history of aviation and look forward to working with the Leadership Team to drive Virgin Atlantic through economic recovery and back to profitability.”

Shai Weiss, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, said: “The Covid-19 crisis has shown that now more than ever, it is our amazing people that sets us apart. Following the most challenging year in our history, we now have the Leadership Team in place to drive our march forward at pace. Estelle and Oliver both bring deep knowledge and expertise in their specific fields. They will do an amazing job leading our teams, as we continue to return to our very best for our people and our customers.”

The two internal promotions complete Virgin Atlantic’s Leadership Team and are effective immediately.