AP News

CEO of Germany's Air Berlin steps down

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's second-biggest airline, Air Berlin PLC, says its chief is stepping down after leading a drive to turn around the company over the past 16 months.

Air Berlin said Monday that executive Hartmut Mehdorn, a former CEO of Germany's national railway who took over on an interim basis in September 2011 after company founder Joachim Hunold quit, is retiring from the position "by mutual agreement."

He is being replaced by Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, the airline's chief strategy and planning officer. Mehdorn will become a non-executive director.

Air Berlin has struggled in Europe's highly competitive travel market. Under Mehdorn, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has become its biggest shareholder with a stake of nearly 30 percent.

It has cut some routes and sold a majority stake in its frequent flyer program to Etihad.

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