Management of KLM
KLM’s management is in the hands of its Executive Team. The statutory Managing Directors are President and Chief Executive Officer Pieter Elbers, Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer Erik Swelheim, and Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer René de Groot.
The Supervisory Board supervises the management by the Board of Managing Directors and the general performance of KLM. The Supervisory Board consists of Cees ‘t Hart (chair), François Enaud, Jan-Kees de Jager, Christian Nibourel, Marjan Oudeman, Fleur Pellerin, Pierre-François Riolacci, Benjamin Smith and Janine Vos.
Biography Pieter Elbers
Pieter (J.Th.) Elbers (1970) - President and Chief Executive Officer – is an airline industry veteran with over 25 years of experience within KLM. He started his career at KLM in 1992 as Manager Aircraft loading, followed by a number of managerial positions in The Netherlands, as well as 6 years abroad (in Italy, Greece, and Japan). He joined the Managing Board of KLM in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer. In 2014, he became President and CEO.
His responsibility is to manage KLM’s overall strategy and performance. In this role, setting strategic priorities in order to leverage the company’s competitive advantage is his primary focus. He is also responsible for external affairs and the relationship with external and internal stakeholders, as well as for further developing and enhancing (joint venture) alliances and (Skyteam) partnerships. Next to that, he is accountable for maintaining a customer focused, innovative and efficient organisation and operation. Important corner stones in reaching his goals are leading a motivated executive team and building a firm and fair corporate culture.
He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Air France KLM Group. Furthermore, he is a member of the Supervisory Board of Marfo B.V, member of the Board of the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW), member of the International Advisory Board of International Institute of Air & Space Law (IIASL), and member of the Board of Governors of IATA.
Pieter Elbers graduated at the Open University in Amsterdam (Master in Business Administration) and the Academy of Venlo (Bachelor in Logistics Management). In addition, he has completed executive programs at IMD - Lausanne, Columbia University - New York and Tsinghua - Beijing. He is married and has 3 children.
Biography Erik Swelheim
Erik (R.) Swelheim (1965) – Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer - started his career at KLM in 2004 as Corporate Controller. He became Chief Financial Officer in 2012 and joined the Board of Managing Directors in 2014. Before working at KLM, he held several financial positions within Unilever, such as Financial Manager of Iglo-Ola in The Netherlands, Financial Director of the European Supply Chain at DiverseyLever and Financial Director of JohnsonDiversey and of DiverseyLever in France.
Within the joint responsibility of the Board of Managing Directors, it is the CFO who manages KLM’s corporate finance & treasury, financial planning & reporting and financial risk management. As a Managing Director KLM’s Procurement and IT are part of his focus area. He is a member of the IATA Financial Committee. Furthermore, he is a member of the Supervisory Board of Transavia, a 100 percent subsidiary of KLM.
Erik Swelheim graduated at the University of Amsterdam (Master in Business Economics) and the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (Post Graduate Financial Controlling – RC).
Biography René de Groot
René (M.) de Groot (1969) – Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer - started his career at KLM in 1990 as a pilot. His last position as a pilot was captain on the Airbus A330 until 2012. In 1999, he joined the Board of the Dutch Pilots Union VNV, and was VNV’s President from 2005 to 2009. De Groot was Deputy President of the International Federation of Air Line Pilot's Associations (IFALPA) in 2010/2011. In 2012, he made the transition to a managing position at Engineering & Maintenance, becoming its Senior Vice President Operations, before joining the Board of Managing Directors in 2015 as Chief Operating Officer. He is also KLM’s Accountable Manager.
Within the joint responsibility of the Board of Managing Directors, it is the COO who manages KLM’s Passenger Business Operations, with 35 million passengers per year, 734 flights per day to 171 destinations and 20.000 staff.
As KLM’s Accountable Manager he is accountable to the Dutch Civil Aviation Authority (CAA-NL) for maintaining operational safety and compliance standards required by regulation, and has final responsibility for the Air Operator Certificate (AOC). Within this responsibility, he is accountable for the overall Integrated Safety Management System (ISMS).
René de Groot graduated as an airline pilot at the Rijksluchtvaartschool. In addition, he has completed several aviation safety leadership courses (Baines Simmons) and an executive program (Darden Business School, USA).