Lufthansa picks executive board member Spohr as new CEO-report

FRANKFURT Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:35pm EST

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FRANKFURT Jan 17 (Reuters) - Deutsche Lufthansa, Germany's largest airline, will appoint management board member Carsten Spohr, currently in charge of its passenger airline business, as chief executive officer, a German newspaper reported on Friday.

Citing company sources, German mass-circulation tabloid Bild reported an "internal" decision had been made in favour of Spohr and that the company's supervisory board would rubber-stamp the appointment at a meeting in March.

Under Germany's two-tier board structure for listed companies, top managers including the CEO are appointed by the non-executive supervisory board.

Current CEO Christoph Franz is set to leave the German carrier when his contract expires at the end of May to join Swiss drugmaker Roche as board chairman.

German media have highlighted several Lufthansa veterans as possible candidates to succeed Franz, including Spohr and fellow management board member Harry Hohmeister as well as Lufthansa Cargo divisional head Karl Ulrich Garnadt and catering unit LSG's chief Walter Gehl.

A Lufthansa spokesman told Reuters the process to pick a new CEO was ongoing and that there was no time pressure because the incumbent had a contract until May 31.

A decision would be announced once it was formally made, he added.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger and Christian Ruettger; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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