Brandon Mitchener leaves EBAA after one year


Brandon Mitchener has quit the post of CEO of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) after just one year in the role. He has criticised the association’s board for blocking changes.

The EBAA is looking for a replacement.

In a Facebook post Mitchener said: “I’ve accomplished a lot and would have done more were it not for the resistance of some in the organization and the board to a few much-needed changes. Given the circumstances I was happy to leave. I wish the best of luck to those who remain, especially those who also wanted to see the association turn a page.”

EBAA says that it has a “robust structure” and that Juergen Wiese, chairman of the board of governors, board members and EBAA staff will cover for Mitchener until a replacement is appointed..

The association says that Wiese will be supported by board members Marwan Khalek (CEO of Gama Aviation), Graham Williamson (president of TAG Aviation Europe), Robert Smith (president of Jet Aviation) and Maxime Bouchard (managing director of JetFly aviation). In September last year EBAA created the post of COO and hired Robert Baltus, an experienced business aircraft operator.

“EBAA has built a strong foundation for future growth, with a range of exciting projects and opportunities ahead of us,” said Wiese. “On behalf of our members, the board, the secretariat and I will continue our strong advocacy of business aviation in Europe and will continue to move our association forward as we have done for the past 41 years.”

Mitchener joined the EBAA from outside business aviation. As well as founding his own consultancy and working for a public relations company he had worked in corporate communications for agriculture company Monsanto and First Solar. Before that he was a journalist.

He replaced Fabio Gamba who had been CEO for more than five years after joining from the Association of European Airlines. At the same time Brian Humphries – who had served separate tenures at EBAA as chairman, president and CEO – stepped down. Humphries, who had been head of Shell Aviation, had run EBAA since 1996.

“Brandon faced a perfect storm,” said one member. “The association had been led by Brian for such a long time that it had to adapt when he left and he was facing pressure from members and the board to deliver.”

Mitchener’s LinkedIn profile states: “I led the renewal of the organisation’s mission, vision and values statements; oversaw the development of an impactful external communications campaign and the refocusing of its internal and member communications; introduced a range of new governance policies and processes; oversaw a complete overhaul of the organisation’s information systems; and prepared the approval of the first proper business plan that it had had in years.”