The Corporate Governance Code recommends that at least half the members (excluding the chairman) of the board of directors of a company with a premium listing should be non-executive directors, independent in character and judgment and free from relationships or circumstances which are likely to affect, or could appear to affect, their judgment.
The Corporate Governance Code recommends that the board should appoint one of its independent non-executive directors as senior independent director. The senior independent director should be available to shareholders if they have concerns that contact through the normal channels of the chairman, chief executive officer or chief operations officer has failed to resolve or where such contact is inappropriate. Simon Duffy is the senior independent director of the Board and will continue in this role following Admission.
The Board consists of one Executive Director and eight Non-Executive Directors. The Company regards this as an appropriate board structure. Other than William A. Franke, Andrew S. Broderick and Stephen L. Johnson, the Company regards all of its Non-Executive Directors as independent Non-Executive Directors within the meaning of “independent” as defined in the Corporate Governance Code and free from any business or other relationship which could materially interfere with the exercise of their independent judgment. Accordingly, the Company complies with the requirement of the Corporate Governance Code that at least half of the board (excluding the chairman) of a company with a premium listing should comprise of independent non-executive directors.
Mr Franke has been Chairman of Wizz Air since 2004. The Chairman’s role is to lead the Board and ensure that it operates effectively. Mr Franke is the founder and managing partner of Indigo Partners LLC, a private equity fund focused on air transportation. He is currently chairman of Frontier Airlines, Inc, a United States airline, JetSMART SpA, a Chilean airline, EnerJet, a Canadian start-up airline, APiJET LLC, a software company focused on providing real-time cost saving analytics to airlines, and currently serves on the board of directors of Concesionaria Vuela Compania de Aviacion, S.A. de C.V., a Mexican airline that does business as Volaris. 1998 to 2001, Mr Franke was a managing partner of Newbridge Latin America, a private equity fund focused on Latin America. Mr Franke was the chairman and chief executive officer of America West Airlines from 1993 to 2001. He served as chairman of Spirit Airlines Inc., a United States airline, from 2006 to 2013 and Tiger Aviation Pte. Ltd, a Singapore-based airline, from 2004 to 2009, and held directorships in Alpargatas S.A.I.C., an Argentina-based footwear and textiles manufacturer, from 1996 to 2007, and Phelps Dodge Corporation, a mining company, where he served as the lead outside director for several years, from 1980 to 2007. He has in the past served on a number of publicly listed company boards of directors including ON Semiconductor, Valley National Corporation, Southwest Forest Industries and the Circle K Corporation.
Mr Franke has both undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University and an honorary PhD from Northern Arizona University. Mr Franke was the 2019 recipient of the Excellence in Leadership Award at the 45th ATW Airline Industry Achievement Awards.
Mr Váradi was one of the founders of Wizz Air in 2003. Mr Váradi worked at Procter & Gamble for ten years between 1991 and 2001, and became sales director for global customers where he was responsible for major clients throughout eleven EU countries. He then joined Malév Hungarian Airlines, the Hungarian state airline, as chief commercial officer in 2001, before serving as its chief executive officer from 2001 to 2003. He is currently a non-executive director of JetSMART Airlines SpA in Chile and he also held board memberships with companies such as Lufthansa Technik Budapest (Supervisory Board, 2001–2003) and Mandala Airlines in Indonesia (Board of Commissioners, 2007–2011). He has been serving the Board of Directors of Wizz Air Holdings Plc as executive director since 2003 and he chairs the Board of Directors of Wizz Air UK Ltd and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi. Mr Váradi won the Ernst & Young Hungary “Brave Innovator” award in 2007 and the “Entrepreneur Of The Year” award in 2017. Mr Váradi holds a master’s degree in economics from the Budapest University of Economic Sciences and a master’s degree in law from the University of London as well as international directorship degree from INSEAD.
Mr Duffy joined the Board in January 2014. Mr Duffy started his career at NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd and has held positions at Shell International Petroleum Co, Bain & Co, Consolidated Gold Fields Plc, Guinness Plc, Thorn EMI Plc (where he held the position of Deputy Chairman and Group Finance Director), World Online International B.V. (where he held the position of Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive), End2End AS (where he held the position of Chief Executive), Orange SA (where he held the position of Chief Financial Officer), ntl: Telewest Inc. (where he held the position of Executive Vice Chairman) and Tradus Plc (where he held the position of Executive Chairman). Mr Duffy has extensive London Stock Exchange non-executive director experience. He has sat on the board of, amongst others, Gartmore Plc, HMV Group Plc, GWR Group Plc and Imperial Tobacco Plc. He is currently chairman of You View Ltd., which is a joint venture between British Telecom, TalkTalk and all the leading broadcasters in the United Kingdom and chairman of M Blox Inc. He is a non-executive director of Oger Telecom, a Middle East telecommunications company, and of Modern Times Group AB, one of Europe’s largest broadcasting companies that is listed on the Stockholm Exchange, where he is chairman of the audit committee. Mr Duffy has a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Mr Johnson joined the Board in 2004, left the Board in 2009 and was re-appointed as a Non-Executive Director in 2011. Mr Johnson is Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs for American Airlines Group Inc. and its principal subsidiary, American Airlines, Inc. Previously, Mr Johnson served as Executive Vice President, Corporate and Government Affairs for US Airways. Prior to joining US Airways in 2009, Mr Johnson was a partner at Indigo from 2003 to 2009. Between 1995 and 2003, Mr Johnson held a variety of positions with America West Airlines, Inc. prior to its merger with US Airways, including Executive Vice President, Corporate. Prior to joining America West, Mr Johnson served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at GPA Group plc, an aircraft leasing company, and as an attorney at Seattle-based law firm Bogle & Gates where he specialised in corporate and aircraft finance and taxation. Mr Johnson earned his Master of Business Administration and Juris Doctor from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from California State University, Sacramento.
Dr. Anthony Radev joined the Board in April 2021. A citizen of Hungary, Germany and Bulgaria, Dr. Radev has had an extensive career in academia and business. Presently, he serves as a president of Corvinus University at Budapest, Hungary, is a member of the Board of Directors at MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Public Limited Company, a member of the Board at Hungarian Football Federation and at the DSK bank in Bulgaria. For over twenty years, Dr. Radev has been involved with McKinsey & Co., in various roles, last one culminating in a Senior Partner from 2001 until 2013. His engagement has spanned many sectors of the economy and included leading McKinsey’s financial institutions practice in Central and Eastern Europe as well as being a member of senior leadership team in European banking practice. Today, Dr. Radev is a Director Emeritus of McKinsey (honorary membership). Dr. Radev holds Master’s Degree in Economics from Marx Karoly University of Economics at Budapest, a Ph.D Degree in Economics, Institute of Contemporary Social Sciences at Sofia, Bulgaria and a Post-graduate program in International Studies at Bologna Center, School for Advanced Studies at the John Hopkins University, Bologna, Italy.
A Danish national, Ms Andsager has held multiple regulatory roles within the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Norway as well as Telenor, the Norwegian majority state-owned multinational telecommunications company. In 2005, Ms Andsager served as Vice President, European & U.S. Public Affairs for SAS Group. In this capacity, Ms Andsager advised SAS Group on European & U.S. public affairs and maintained contacts with the European institutions and the U.S. Administration. In 2010, Ms Andsager joined Rolls-Royce Plc as Vice President EU Affairs where she served until 2014. Prior to joining the Wizz Air board, Ms Andsager served as an Independent Director on the board of Avinor Flysikring AS, the state-owned air navigation services provider in Norway. Ms Andsager holds a Masters' Degree in Law from Aarhus University.