London Heathrow airport has confirmed the boss of Copenhagen’s international hub as its new chief executive.
Thomas Woldbye was appointed by its board as the successor to John Holland-Kaye, following a decade at the helm.
The new CEO served as chief of Copenhagen Airport since 2011, and previously was previously at Møller-Mærsk, leading the global shipping and ferry divisions, 27 years.
During his time at Copenhagen, Woldbye also led expansion of its main terminal’s capacity.
It has however been involved in two protracted spats, firstly with the Civil Aviation Authority and various airlines about its price cap, and also regarding a proposed third runway.
Heathrow has an £11bn investment programme from its shareholders, including expansion proposals backed by MPs. It is also now linked to the City of London and the West End through the Elizabeth Line.
Thomas Woldbye said he was “naturally excited and proud, as well as humbled, to have been chosen” as the next CEO.
“Heathrow is an important engine for the British economy and inextricably linked to the success of London and the wider UK.”
Woldbye will have to tackle both of these thorny issues as chief executive, but was warmly welcomed by the airport’s chairman Lord Paul Deighton, who said he had beaten the “best calibre talent from across the world.”
“Thomas’s achievements at Copenhagen not only mirror Heathrow’s long-term strategy, but his track record in successfully running a major airport and working closely with stakeholders to secure consensus and deliver positive results stood out in the selection process”
He also thanked Holland-Kay for his “unyielding dedication” praising him for having “developed the plan for Heathrow expansion that secured overwhelming Parliamentary approval, navigated the business through the extremely challenging times during the Covid 19 pandemic, and moving it towards net zero.
Holland-Kaye reflected on his departure, saying “an airport is more than just runways and terminal buildings – it’s the people who come to work every day to deliver excellent service to our passengers. It’s been the privilege of my lifetime to lead our fantastic team.”
He will remain in post until Woldbye starts later in the year.