Dick Benschop appointed CEO of Schiphol

Former PvdA State Secretary Dick Benschop will be the new CEO of Royal Schiphol Group, the board of the airport confirmed in a press release on Monday. He will succeed Jos Nijhuis on May 1st, ANP reports.

Benschop, 60, currently works at Royal Dutch Shell. Between 1998 and 2002 he was State Secretary of Foreign Affairs in the Kok II government.

In a letter to parliament, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance said that Benschop will fit well into the Schiphol profile given his experience. He had to approve the appointment because the Dutch state is a major shareholder in Schiphol. 

The appointment of Schiphol's new CEO caused quite a commotion last week when departing CEO Nijhuis said that his successor will be a man, otherwise there will be more women than men in the airport's board of directors. In response to this commotion, Hoekstra pointed out that since he took office, most of the appointments in state participation companies went to women. In the case of Schiphol, he had less direct influence on the appointment than with companies such as TenneT and NS.

KLM commented on Benschop's "impressive track record" in response to his appointment. "We wish Mr. Benschop every success and look forward to constructive cooperation between Schiphol and KLM." The airline is Schiphol's biggest customer.