London Heathrow has made several changes to its executive team following its COO’s decision to leave

After 15 years at Heathrow, chief operating officer (COO) Emma Gilthorpe is to leave for the Royal Mail, where she will become CEO, effective May 1. Gilthorpe’s last day at Heathrow will be April 26.

Javier Echave, currently chief financial officer (CFO), will take over from Gilthorpe, stepping into the role of CCO on April 26. Sally Ding, Heathrow’s director of treasury & corporate finance, will be acting CFO while a permanent recruitment process gets underway. 

Heathrow CEO Thomas Woldbye said: “We’re opening up Heathrow’s next chapter as we strive to be an extraordinary airport, fit for the future. That brings along exciting opportunities and inevitable change. 

“Over the last 15 years, few have played a more instrumental role in shaping Heathrow’s success and building our great culture than Emma Gilthorpe. She will be missed by all of us at Heathrow, and I’m personally very sad to see her leave.

“Emma leaves behind an operation that is performing well, and Javier’s effective leadership style and deep understanding of our business will help the Operations team continue to make every journey better. In the meantime, Sally’s capable hands will look after our finances. 

“We wish Emma all the best in her new role outside Heathrow, and to Javier and Sally in their new roles within our extraordinary airport.”

Javier Echave and Emma Gilthorpe
Javier Echave and Emma Gilthorpe London Heathrow Airport