Professional CEO instead of party minionJat Airways is heading towards getting its first professional CEO without political affiliation. The Serbian Government has announced that the heads of all state owned companies will be selected through open competitions. Amongst the first companies to get a new CEO will be Jat Airways, as the national carrier currently has only an acting CEO who is the member of the largest party in the ruling coalition. Often, people with little knowledge in the field of aviation are selected as CEOs of the Serbian flag carrier based on their party memberships leading to disastrous business decisions. Jat’s last CEO, Srdjan Radovanović, a lawyer by profession, was brought to the airline only to be run out by his own employees following questionable decisions. Others, who have actually been with the airline and selected as CEOs, were often at the bottom of the hierarchy and with little experience were propelled to the top job.
Whether the process will be transparent remains to be seen. The government announced that it will begin with the open competitions and selections immediately. The heads of Adria Airways, Montenegro Airlines and Croatia Airlines have all been hand picked by the country’s ruling party. B&H Airlines also endured the same process until recently when the naming of the company’s CEO was handed to part owner Turkish Airlines.