PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – CEO of Caribbean Airlines (CAL) Michael DiLollo has quit after just 17 months on the job.
The 48-year-old Canadian national, citing personal reasons, resigned with immediate effect. His resignation has been accepted by the state-owned airline’s board of directors.
CAL Chairman Phillip Marshall announced that chief financial officer Tyrone Tang will act as CEO until a permanent replacement is found. DiLollo was appointed CAL CEO in May 2014 following the sudden resignation of Robert Corbie in September 2013.
In an interview with T&T Guardian recently, DiLollo said CAL did not need a bailout just yet. He said the airline had benefited from extremely patient shareholders for years and he believed the airline was strategically positioned to break even in three years.
In early February, then-finance minister Larry Howai told Parliament that unaudited accounts for 2014 showed the airline made a loss of US$60 million, inclusive of its Air Jamaica operations, and the airline planned to break even by 2017.
Speaking to members of the media in early October, DiLollo was confident, giving no hint of any issues affecting his term of employment, saying: “When I look at the investment that has been afforded to the airline and compare that with my experience in the private sector, it is absolutely astounding.”
DiLollo, a pilot, said then he was ready to land the airline in a break-even financial position and that the airline was “well on our way, very well on our way to achieving that target.”
In November 2014, Parliament was informed that DiLollo was being paid a US$33,000 (TT$211,000) monthly compensation package. Then-prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar defended the sum saying this was in keeping with salaries paid to former CEOs and was necessary to acquire that level of expertise.
Persad-Bissessar said then that DiLollo received a salary of US$28,000 and a housing allowance of US$5,000. He also received a travelling allowance of US$1,600. Former government ministers Vasant Bharath and Howai had also defended DiLollo’s salary, calling it comparable to salaries paid to fo