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Martin George steps down as BA commercial director

LONDON - Martin George, the commercial director at British Airways, and Iain Burns, BA head of communications, have resigned from the airline.

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Both men have been on leave of absence since June 2006 when the Office of Fair Trading and the US Department of Justice began an investigation focused on long-haul passenger fuel surcharges.

Robert Boyle, BA director of planning, replaces George as commercial director with immediate effect.

In a letter to Martin Broughton, chairman of BA, George said: "It is with regret that I notify you of my decision to step down as commercial director of British Airways with effect from the above date. This decision applies both to my position as an employee of British Airways and as a director on the main and subsidiary company boards of the British Airways group.

 

"I now recognise that within my department, there may have been inappropriate conversations in violation of company policy in relation to long-haul fuel surcharges. I was not involved in such conversations. Although the board of BA have not found that I have behaved in a dishonest way, I fully recognise my responsibilities as head of department and as a board director."

Last October, BA appointed Bartle Bogle Hegarty to handle its £60m advertising account.

The decision to move the account to BBH ended BA's 23-year history with M&C Saatchi. The account represented approximately 7% of M&C Saatchi's revenues in 2004, hitting the agency hard.

Thomas Coops, former communications director at Abbey National has been appointed interim head of corporate and media relations. He replaces Burns in the position.

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