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SpiceJet chief Niel Mills quits

Neil Mills has resigned as the CEO of SpiceJet just short of completing the third year of his five-year contract with the low-cost airline

Written by ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: July 24, 2013 1:25 am

Neil Mills has resigned as the CEO of SpiceJet just short of completing the third year of his five-year contract with the low-cost airline. Mills had joined the airline in October 2010,three months after then CEO Sanjay Agarwal had resigned. Sources in the airline confirmed that Mills has resigned and will be leaving the airline “very soon”.

“There are various reasons for his resignation. His inability to make a change in the airline being is one. He is set to join an airline in Asia but the name of that airline is not yet disclosed to us,” an airline source told The Indian Express.

The source added that the search for a new CEO is on and the person is likely to be from outside. “It is highly unlikely that the CEO will be from within the airline,” the source further said. An email and SMS sent to the airline remained unanswered. SMSs and phone calls on Mills’ mobile number also did not elicit any response.

The CEO’s exit has come at a time when the airline is going through a tough phase,financially. The airline’s debt has more than doubled to Rs 1,429 crore in FY’13 against Rs 650 crore in the previous fiscal. After making profits in 2009-10 and 2010-11,the airline registered losses in 2011-12 and 2012-13 of Rs 606 crore and Rs 191 crore,respectively. It has also suffered because of the volatile rupee,as almost 70 per cent of its operating costs are exposed to forex risks.

Mills is the second high-profile exit from the airline in the recent past. SpiceJet’s chief commercial officer Harish Moideen Kutty resigned few weeks earlier. Kutty has joined RAK Airways.

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