CEO forgot to tell wife about pay cut

Willie Walsh, Chief Executive of British Airways airline, looks on during a panel discussion at the Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva April 1, 2009. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - British Airways Chief Executive Willie Walsh is showing solidarity with his staff in planning to work without pay next month as part of cost cuts, but the move may not have gone down so well with his wife.

“She read about it in the papers,” a grinning Walsh told Reuters at a lunch for airline executives gathering in the Malaysian capital.

Walsh, whose normal salary is 735,000 pounds ($1.2 million) a year, will work for nothing in July as part of a cost-cutting drive under which 2,500 staff have left the airline in the past year. The airline unveiled record losses last month.

Many airlines have cut jobs as the industry has been battered by a global downturn that has hit demand for travel and air freight.

Reporting by Neil Chatterjee; Editing by David Holmes