Virgin Blue has appointed Stefan Pichler, 46, to the newly appointed role of Chief Commercial Officer. Stefan was formerly the CEO of Thomas Cook AG and has held senior executive and executive board roles with Lufthansa AG. As Chief Commercial Officer, Stefan will be responsible for Virgin Blue’s network management, sales, product and services, communications, marketing and brand management. Stefan will report to the Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey.
Stefan combines both extensive airline experience with major carriers in Europe with extensive knowledge of brands, including working with leading global brands such as NIKE.
Stefan was appointed CEO of Thomas Cook AG in January 2000 and developed the company from a national tour operator to the world’s second largest leisure group. He is formerly a non-executive director of major German corporations including Deutsche Bank AG and Steigenberger Hotels AG.
“Stefan combines top airline industry experience and management skills, with a strong devotion to people, and will fit very well with Virgin Blue’s unique culture,” said Brett Godfrey.
“His insight and experience with major carriers will be of great benefit to us as we continue to take the challenge to our major competitor and get set for our next phase of development.”
“Importantly, he also has a deep understanding of brands and specifically airline brands and he will play a key part in our management team. We welcome him on board,” said Brett Godfrey.
Prior to joining Thomas Cook AG, Stefan had an extensive career with Deutsche Lufthansa AG. These roles included his appointment as a member of Lufthansa’s Executive Board (1997), and his appointment as Head of Worldwide Sales for Lufthansa (1996). He joined Lufthansa in 1989 as the Marketing & Sales Manager for France, and in 1991 was appointed Managing Director for Lufthansa France, based in Paris.
A former internationally ranked marathon runner, Stefan started his career as the Head of Sport Promotions at NIKE International in Oregon. He has a Masters Degree in both Economics and Law from Augsburg University.