Alex Cruz is the CEO of British Airways. In recent times, interested individuals might have seen his name in the news because of his controversial plan that involves cutting 12,000 jobs as well as other cost-saving measures. However, this is far from being the first time that Cruz has run into a PR problem.
1. Is a Basque
It is interesting to note that Cruz is a Basque. For those who are unfamiliar, the Basques are an European ethnic group with a common culture, a common language, and a common ancestry from the ancient Vascones as well as Aquitanians. Most of them can be found in the Autonomous Communities of the Basque Country and Navarre in northern Spain. However, the rest of the Basque homeland can be found in southern France, encompassing the three historic French provinces of Lower Navarre, Labourd, and Soule. Of course, there are also Basque populations that can be found in the United States, Canada, and other countries.
2. Born in Bilbao
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Cruz was born in Bilbao, which is the biggest of the cities that can be found in the Basque Country as well as the whole of northern Spain. It has been an important commercial hub since its founding in the early 14th century, not least because its location enabled it to serve as a port for the iron extracted from the surrounding region’s iron mines. Later, Bilbao became the center of one of the most industrialized parts of Spain before undergoing a transformation into a service economy that started up in the mid 1990s.
3. Studied at Central Michigan University
In time, Cruz made the choice to study at Central Michigan University, which can be found in Mount Pleasant, MI. Most of the school’s students can be found on its campus. However, it can claim thousands and thousands of students who are enrolled online as well.
4. Studied at Ohio State University
Later, Cruz studied for a Master of Science from Ohio State University, which can be found in Columbus, OH. Said school was once called the Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical College, so it should come as no surprise to learn that it was once focused on agricultural and mechanical disciplines. However, it became much more comprehensive in nature at the direction of Rutherford B. Hayes, who tends to be much better remembered for having become the 19th President of the United States.
5. Studied at Cox School of Business
Cruz’s initial education was focused on engineering. However, he went through an executive education program at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business, which was presumably meant to make him more capable of carrying out the duties and responsibilities associated with senior management without interfering with his career too much
6. Has a Lot of Airline Experience
Naturally, Cruz had a lot of airline experience before becoming the CEO of British Airways. For example, he spent about a decade’s time working at American Airlines. After which, he founded the Spanish low-cost airline Clickair, which has since been merged with another Spanish low-cost airline called Vueling with the result that everything was re-branded under the latter name. In the present time, Cruz is still a member of Vueling’s Board of Directors.
7. Not the Flashiest Person Out There
Personality-wise, Cruz is not the flashiest person out there. One excellent example of his personal preferences can be seen in how he prefers to travel to his workplace on public transportation, which tends to be seen as a rather humble means of transportation for the head of a notable corporation. On top of this, Cruz has been described as someone who lives in a “not ostentatious” house as well as someone who prefers to eat somewhere more casual than London’s see-and-be-seen restaurants.
8. His Personal Reputation Has Suffered in Recent Years
Apparently, Cruz used to be seen as a charismatic individual who was liked by a wide range of individuals working in the airline industry. This can be seen in how his team surprised him for his 50th birthday by putting his name on an Airbus A320, which speaks of a fair amount of esteem on their part. Combined with Cruz’s earlier successes, it was no wonder that he was seen as an up-and-coming figure in the airline industry. Unfortunately, the present outweighs the past, which is why his struggles at the helm of British Airways have left his personal reputation in a much poorer condition than before. In particular, it is worth mentioning that there are a lot of people who don’t like him very much right now, which isn’t just because of his recently-revealed plan but is also because of other PR problems.
9. Hired to Make British Airways More Efficient
Cruz was hired to make British Airways more efficient. This is critical because the airline has been moving towards becoming a budget airline, meaning that even small savings can matter a lot when it comes to profit margins. Unfortunately, there is a limit to what companies can cut without compromising when it comes to their products and services, which is exactly what happened with British Airways. As the CEO, Cruz has come under considerable criticism from passengers who are less than enthused by the elimination of features, which seems to have made him less eager to engage with consumers in a personal way.
10. Says that He Is Focused on Immediate Survival
The most recent PR problem was caused by Cruz’s reveal of his plan to cut 12,000 jobs as well as implement other cost-saving measures. This has provoked a huge uproar from a wide range of stakeholders, so much so that Cruz has been forced to respond. According to him, the measures are needed to ensure British Airways’s immediate survival as well as put it in a competitive position when a semblance of normality has been restored. Something that might not happen for a very long period of time. Cruz’s defense is very much directed at claims that he is engaging in a fire and rehire strategy.