As from 1 May 2018, Dick Benschop (60) will be the new President of Royal Schiphol Group. He will be leaving Royal Dutch Shell to succeed Jos Nijhuis, who is retiring as head of the airport.
From 1998 to 2002, Benschop was State Secretary for Foreign Affairs in the second Dutch cabinet led by Prime Minister Wim Kok. He later went to work for Royal Dutch Shell, where he fulfilled a number of positions, including as President-director Shell Nederland from 1 May 2011 until 1 January 2016. Before Benschop worked as State Secretary, he worked for 4 years at Schiphol Group in an advisory role.
Louise Gunning, Chair of the Supervisory Board of Royal Schiphol Group: ‘Given his experience in the public domain, combined with his ample experience in the business world, we are convinced that he will be able to encourage all parties involved to join forces and set the course for the next phase of Schiphol. We believe that he will be able to address the complex challenges of Dutch aviation. It is our conviction that he and his team are capable of further developing the airport smartly, safely and sustainably.’
‘Many challenges and opportunities’
Benschop: ‘Schiphol is a special place and wonderful company that I have worked for previously. I am really looking forward to the opportunity of leading one of the most dynamic organisations in the Netherlands. Aviation is synonymous with many challenges and opportunities. How can we continue to develop sustainably? How can we find a new balance between nuisance and the economic importance based on trust? Each and every one big issues, which I am looking forward to addressing on behalf of the Netherlands, passengers, airlines and local residents.’
With the appointment of Benschop, Royal Schiphol Group intends to encourage a sustainable development of the airport. Together with his team, Benschop will prepare Schiphol for the future. In the short term, this preparation will involve more renovation and construction activities, as passenger numbers continue to break records. In the long term, it will involve developing a new vision for the future of Royal Schiphol Group which is in line with societal and technological developments and the global demand for mobility. Royal Schiphol Group’s mission is to optimally connect the Netherlands to the rest of the world as best as possible, in order to contribute to prosperity and welfare in the Netherlands and abroad.
Nijhuis to remain CEO until 1 May
Earlier, Jos Nijhuis announced that he would remain CEO until 31 March 2018. However, the Supervisory Board has requested that he extend this period, since Benschop will begin work per 1 May. Nijhuis has agreed to remain CEO up to and including 30 April.
He will subsequently remain in service with Royal Schiphol Group until 1 July in order to hand over duties to Benschop. After that, he will be available for the Schiphol Group’s international activities as agreed until 1 April 2019.
Gunning: ‘Under the management of Jos, Schiphol grew to become the airport with the best direct connectivity in Europe and the global runner-up for hub connectivity. Together with the airlines and KLM in particular, Jos made an important contribution to the connection of the Netherlands with the rest of the world. Schiphol also realised substantial progress in the field of sustainability under his leadership. We appreciate that he will be using his knowledge and experience in continuing his contribution to the foreign activities of Schiphol.’
As from 1 May, in addition to Benschop (Chief Executive Officer), the Schiphol Group Management Board will comprise Jabine van der Meijs (Chief Financial Officer), Birgit Otto (Chief Operations Officer) and André van den Berg (Chief Commercial Officer)