Christoph Schmitz to replace Xavier Rossinyol as new gategroup CEO

By Charlotte Turner |

Christoph Schmitz (left) will replace Rossinyol (right).

Christoph Schmitz (left) will replace Xavier Rossinyol (right).

Leading global airline catering and food services provider, gategroup has announced that Xavier Rossinyol will step down as Chief Executive Officer effective 1 November, 2021 ‘to pursue new challenges outside of the airline industry’.

 

Christoph Schmitz, gategroup’s Chief Financial Officer since January 2015, will replace Rossinyol, who will remain with gategroup through January 2022, supporting the transition.

 

Rossinyol joined gategroup in April 2015 and led the company through a strong growth phase with record year-on-year financial results; and navigated the complex Covid-19 pandemic.

 

DECISIVE ACTION IN 2020

Gategroup reports that between 2015 and 2019, revenues grew from CHF3bn to 5bn. It also saw its customer base increase to 300+ while expanding its footprint to 200+ locations and its presence to 60+ countries.

 

In the course of this expansion, the group incorporated Servair in 2017 and LSG Europe in 2020 developing strategic partnerships with Air France and Lufthansa.

“I want to thank our customers, partners, suppliers and banks for their support all along. Special thanks to the Shareholders and the Board of Directors. And a forever thanks to the leadership team and to all employees." Xavier Rossinyol.

“I want to thank our customers, partners, suppliers and banks for their support all along. Special thanks to the Shareholders and the Board of Directors. And a forever thanks to the leadership team and to all employees.” Xavier Rossinyol.

“From a near-global air travel shutdown in 2020, gategroup took decisive action to protect its employees, customers, and other stakeholders,” said the company.

 

With the support from the shareholders, lenders and bondholders, it completed a comprehensive financial restructuring of the group in 2021 and accelerated the expansion into adjacent, non-aviation markets, drawing on its core competencies.

 

TRULY GLOBAL

“Under Xavier’s leadership, gategroup has truly become a global food-focused company and the world leading inflight caterer, being recognised for providing the most innovative culinary and retail offering tailored to individual customer needs in any market they operate, consistently and efficiently,” said Timo Vättö, Chairman of the Board of gategroup.

“Gategroup is uniquely positioned today for the return of travel and to serve new customers beyond aviation.”

 

Christoph Schmitz joined gategroup as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Management Board in January 2015 with over 20 years of experience as a CFO at multinational companies.

 

In his capacity as Group CFO, Schmitz has been involved in all key strategic projects of the group. He led the public-to-private ownership transition in 2016, the acquisitions of Servair and LSG Europe, the changes of ownership in 2018 and 2019, and the restructuring initiatives in 2021 to secure the group’s financial position and build a stronger, more diversified portfolio for the future.

 

Christoph Schmitz, gategroup’s Chief Financial Officer since January 2015, will replace Rossinyol, who will remain with gategroup through January 2022, supporting the transition.

Christoph Schmitz, gategroup’s Chief Financial Officer since January 2015, will replace Rossinyol, who will remain with gategroup through January 2022, supporting the transition.

SPECIAL THANKS FROM ROSSINYOL

In addition, Schmitz has led a significant consolidation of the group’s IT infrastructure and applications landscape achieving material efficiency gains.

 

“Christoph’s contribution has been instrumental to drive the market consolidation strategy and secure the financing to enable gategroup weathering the crisis,” added Vättö. “The Board is confident that under Christoph’s leadership, the gategroup team will resume and accelerate on its growth path.”

 

Rossinyol made these remarks. “I would like to congratulate Christoph to his appointment as gategroup’s CEO. He has been a key driver of the group’s achievements over the last 7 years with his talent, leadership, strategic thinking, commitment, and team focused approach.

 

“I want to thank our customers, partners, suppliers and banks for their support all along. Special thanks to the Shareholders and the Board of Directors. And a forever thanks to the leadership team and to all employees.

 

“All what we have achieved is thanks to them and our teamwork – my most personal and professional respect. I am convinced that a new era of success starts for gategroup under the strong leadership of Christoph.”

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