After 17 years as President, one of Emirates’ founding members, Sir Tim Clark, will retire from the company on June 30th, 2020. In a memo released to staff on Tuesday by Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum and seen by CNBC, Sir Tim will step down from his position as President; however, he will still remain in contact with the airline as an advisor.
When talking about Clark’s time with Emirates, the New York Times quoted Sheikh Ahmed saying:
“Through wars, economic recessions, disasters natural or man-made, and various industry upheavals, Tim has ably steered and grown Emirates to its standing today as the world’s largest international airline, and an eminent player in the global airline industry.”
Now at age 70, Sir Tim joined the carrier in 1985, the year it was established, after having already worked with Caledonian Airways and Gulf Air. When asked for his opinion on Clark’s resignation, John Strickland, an independent aviation consultant, told the Times the following:
“Tim is a giant of the industry. He had the vision behind Emirates and has cultivated the airline to where it is today.”
When the Dubai-based airline first began operations, it only had two aircraft wet-leased from Pakistan International Airlines: A Boeing 737-300 and an Airbus A300B4-200. Today, Emirates is the largest operator of both the Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777. The carrier has helped turn Dubai into an international gateway, surpassing London Heathrow as the world's busiest airport for international travel in 2014.
Sir Tim Clark’s achievements did not go unnoticed, with the University of London graduate receiving a knighthood for his services to British prosperity and the aviation industry in the 2014 New Year’s honors list.
As a member of Dubai’s ruling family, Sheikh Ahmed has been with the airline since it was established and praises Clark for developing Emirates into what it is today.
“His achievements are too many to recount individually, but they will all be remembered,” he said in the memo.
As Sir Tim prepares for takeoff, he leaves Emirates with a clear vision for the future that involved placing orders for the Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 787-9 to replace its A380s.