United Utilities boss Charlie Cornish to be Manchester Airports chief

28.5.2010 (Manchester Evening News)

by Kevin Feddy

A board director at FTSE 100 giant United Utilities is set to be named as the
new chief executive of Manchester Airports Group, the MEN can reveal.

Charlie Cornish, who currently holds the title of managing director, business
development and international at the Warrington-based water company, is expected
to succeed Geoff Muirhead at MAG.

Mr Muirhead announced in January he was stepping down after 22 years with the

He joined as business development director in 1988 and was promoted to chief
executive of Manchester Airport in 1992. He took on his current role in 2001 when
the group was formed.

Manchester Airports Group is the largest UK-owned airports operator and the second
biggest in the country after BAA, which is part of Spanish giant Ferrovial.

As well as Manchester Airport, MAG owns East Midlands, Humberside and Bournemouth
airports. The business has annual revenues of nearly £400m but profits have nosedived
during the recession. In 2008-09 they fell from £87.8m to £54.2m as passenger
numbers slid.

More recently, Manchester Airport has been hurt by the volcanic ash cloud, which
has cost it £10m after more than 3,000 flights were cancelled.

Mr Cornish, 49, was appointed to UU’s board in January 2004. He worked for British
Aerospace, Plessey Telecommunications and Associated British Foods after graduating
from Strathclyde University and in 1998 joined the West of Scotland Water Authority
as human resources director.

He went on to become its customer services director and later chief executive.
In 2002 he joined Thames Water as global business performance director, then became
chief operating officer with Thames Water UK and Ireland.

His appointment as chief executive of MAG still has to be formally ratified by
the group’s shareholders – the 10 local authorities of Greater Manchester – but
sources have indicated this is expected to happen soon.

UU declined to comment and an airport spokesman would only say the process to
appoint a new CEO is not yet complete. No salary details have been revealed but
Mr Muirhead’s package last year totalled £512,000, including a bonus for MAG’s
strong performance in 2007-08.

A number of internal candidates at MAG are understood to have been vying to succeed


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    see also


    Manchester Airports Group

    From Wikipedia,   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchester_Airports_Group


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    Manchester Airports Group logo

    The Manchester Airports Group plc (abbreviated MAG) is a holding company owned by the ten metropolitan borough councils of Greater Manchester, in North West England. MAG is the largest UK-owned airport operator, following the purchase of BAA by Spain’s Ferrovial Group in 2006.

    Manchester Airports Group was formed in 2001 to own and operate Manchester Airport and the other smaller acquisitions. Prior to that the Manchester Airport Board
    operated Manchester Airport from 1986, when the
    Greater Manchester County Council was disbanded. Since its spin-off, MAG has branched out into other ventures.

    In addition to Manchester Airport, it owns and operates Bournemouth Airport, East Midlands Airport and Humberside Airport. The Group handles over 29 million combined passengers a year from its four
    airports and generates approximately £3.2 billion for the
    economy of the United Kingdom, whilst supporting, directly and indirectly, over 130,000 jobs.

    Manchester Airports Group runs airport service-related businesses including baggage
    handling and ground services, car parking, fire-fighting, airport security, engineering,
    motor transport services and advertising.

    The property and development arm of MAG, previously known as MADL (Manchester
    Airport Developments), was rebranded as MAG Developments in early 2009.

    In 2008, MAG expressed an interest in bidding for London Gatwick Airport and possibly either Edinburgh Airport or Glasgow International Airport also. This is following a report by the Competition Commission into BAA’s market dominance in London/South East England and Scotland.


    Manchester Airports Group is wholly owned by the ten local authorities of Greater Manchester, with a majority share (55%) owned by Manchester City Council; the other nine local authorities own 5% each.

    Shareholding details: