Lufthansa hires finance head from chocolate maker Barry Callebaut

(This story from November 11 corrects surname of new CFO throughout, first name of former CFO in paragraph 6)

FILE PHOTO: Lufthansa planes are seen parked on the tarmac of Frankfurt Airport, Germany June 25, 2020. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Loss-making German airline Lufthansa said on Wednesday it would revive the role of finance chief and had hired Remco Steenbergen from Swiss chocolate maker Barry Callebaut to fill the post.

Steenbergen, a 52-year-old Dutchman who has managed Barry Callebaut’s finances since March 2018, will be new to the aviation industry when he starts at Lufthansa in January.

He previously worked for consultancy KPMG and technology group Philips in Europe, Asia and the United States.

Lufthansa faces its deepest crisis ever as a result of the coronavirus crisis, surviving on a 9 billion euro ($11 billion) state aid package.

The airline posted a 2 billion euros net loss in the third quarter as is using less than a quarter of its capacity, with plans to reduce 22,000 full-time jobs.

It said in April that it would share the tasks of former finance chief Ulrik Svensson across its management board after he resigned for health reasons. Lufthansa group chief executive Carsten Spohr has lately taken on the function.

“Especially now, when the pandemic is having such serious consequences for air travel, an internationally experienced and well-respected CFO is more important than ever for Lufthansa Group,” supervisory board chief Karl-Ludwig Kley said.

“Not only to overcome the current crisis but also for the coming years, when we have to – and want to – pay back government stabilization funds.”

Steenbergen has agreed to a three-year contract, said Lufthansa, which did not give details of his pay.

EU rules mean Lufthansa managers are not allowed to receive any bonuses until at least 75% of the state aid has been repaid.

Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach and Silke Koltrowitz; Writing by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Alexander Smith