Today, SAS AB’s Board of Directors appoints Anko Van der Werff as President and CEO. He will join the company at the latest on July 15, 2021. The Board also appoints Karl Sandlund, Chief Commercial Officer at SAS, as acting President and CEO as of today. Rickard Gustafson will hand over to the acting CEO during May.
Mr Van der Werff is a 45-year-old Dutch native with an outstanding career in the global airline industry. He currently leads the airline group at Avianca Holdings in Colombia.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Carsten Dilling says: “After an extensive, thorough and intense process, I have been excited to see the comprehensive field of top talented candidates from the global airline industry that SAS as a brand is attracting – further strengthened by a large interest in SAS’ ambitious efforts within sustainability. Therefore, I’m proud that we today can announce Anko van der Werff as new CEO for SAS AB. Anko clearly comes out as the strongest addition to our current highly qualified and strong performing top management team. Anko has deep knowledge of the airline industry and long experience from different international carriers. This will be important tackling the challenges SAS will be facing in the years to come, in an unpredictable post Covid-19 recovery period. He is well familiar with Scandinavia and I believe that he will be a great cultural match for SAS. It is an advantage in our current situation that he will start his position already in July. In order to ensure a smooth and forward-looking transition, Chief Commercial Officer Karl Sandlund, will be acting President and CEO until Anko starts in Stockholm. Again, I would like to thank Rickard Gustafson for an excellent job done for SAS and for our great personal cooperation. On behalf of the Board and SAS, I wish Rickard all the best and good luck in his new role with SKF”, concludes Dilling.
"I am very honored to be the new CEO of SAS. SAS is the leading carrier of Scandinavia with a strong brand and a proud aviation history which has been of great importance for connecting the region domestically and with the rest of the world. I’m also thrilled to be returning to Scandinavia. I have very fond memories of my four years here, both from a professional perspective but also as a family since our oldest two children were born here. I am looking forward to continuing the excellent sustainability journey that SAS has started and that I believe will be instrumental for transforming the airline industry. I am eager to getting to know the team, the different stakeholders and to get started. It is no secret that Covid-19 has impacted the entire aviation industry, but SAS has a strong foundation to build upon and I am sure that by working together between all stakeholders, SAS will come out stronger", says Anko Van der Werff.