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. Barry Eccleston is the senior independent director of the Board.
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.
Ms Pedersen joined the board in June 2020. She has more than 30 years of experience in the aviation sector. A joint Danish and Luxembourgish national, Ms Pedersen has been President Helicopter Services and Chief Executive Officer of Luxaviation Helicopters, a global VVIP helicopter organisation and part of Luxaviation Group between 2016 and 2021. Ms. Pedersen was selected as the first female pilot candidate for the Royal Danish Air Force in 1989 and graduated her helicopter flight training in the US Navy on the Commodore’s List with Distinction. After her military officer services, she joined the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Luxembourg as a Flight Operations Inspector. Ms. Pedersen joined Luxaviation in 2012 and was appointed Chief Operating Officer of the Luxaviation Group in 2014, before becoming the President Helicopter Services and Chief Executive Officer of Luxaviation Helicopters. Ms. Pedersen holds a Master’s degree with honors in Business Administration from Sacred Heart University and was awarded the Deans Leadership Award. Ms. Pedersen is an Elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in the UK.
Mr. Johnson joined the Board in 2004, left the Board in 2009 and was re-appointed as a Non-Executive Director in 2011. In 2022, Mr. Johnson became a Deputy Chair of the Board. Mr. Johnson is Executive Vice President and Strategic Advisor to the CEO, leadership team and the board of directors at American Airlines Group Inc. and its principal subsidiary, American Airlines, Inc. Previously, Mr. Johnson served as Executive Vice President - Corporate Affairs of American, from 2013 through 2021 and from 2009 until 2013 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 specialized 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. He is a Lecturer at the School of Law and the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and serves on the Executive Advisory Board of the University’s Berkeley Center for Law and Business.
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.
Mr Broderick joined the Board in April 2019. Mr Broderick is a Managing Director of Indigo Partners LLC, a private equity fund focused on air transportation, which he joined in July 2008. He has served on the board of directors of Frontier Airlines Holdings, Inc., an airline based in the United States, since January 2018; JetSMART Airlines SpA, an airline based in Chile, since September 2018; and APiJET, LLC, a software company focused on providing real-time cost saving analytics to airlines, since November 2020. Additionally, he has served as an alternate on the board of directors for Concesionaria Vuela Compañía de Aviación, S.A.B. de C.V., an airline based in Mexico doing business as Volaris, since July 2010. Prior to joining Indigo, Mr Broderick was employed at a macroeconomic hedge fund and a stock-option valuation firm. Mr Broderick holds a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Spanish from Arizona State University and a Masters of Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Mr Eccleston joined the Board in May 2018. A dual US and British national, Mr Eccleston recently retired as Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Americas Inc., where he was responsible for all aspects of Airbus' commercial airplanes business in North America, a position he held since 2005. Prior to this, Mr Eccleston was VP/GM for Honeywell's Propulsion Systems Enterprise and had earlier served as Honeywell's VP Commercial Aerospace for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Before joining Honeywell in 2002, he was Executive VP of Fairchild Dornier Corporation, a provider of Regional Aircraft. He started his career with Rolls Royce where he held several senior positions, culminating as CEO of International Aero Engines, a joint venture with Pratt & Whitney. Mr Eccleston holds a bachelor's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Loughborough University and completed the International Executive Program at the IMD in Lausanne. He holds Honorary Doctorates from Loughborough University and Vaughn College of Aeronautics. He is past Chairman of the British-American Business Association in Washington DC., past President of The Wings Club of New York, and has served on the Boards of other industry Associations. He is currently Chairman of FLYHT Aerospace Solutions Ltd, a Canadian public company, and a past outside director at Vector Aerospace Corporation in Canada. In Her Majesty the Queen's New Year 2019 Honours List, Mr Eccleston was appointed an O.B.E.
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.
Anna is a global technology and business leader with robust corporate governance experience built over years of board membership in international public and private companies. She currently serves as independent non-executive director at Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, Fiera Milano, and WiZink Bank in Spain.
As a seasoned digital sales and operations executive, she has demonstrated ability to translate strategic thinking into strong business growth, driving customer success at scale for companies such as Google, YouTube and Skype. She worked at launching YouTube in more than 22 countries and she built an entirely new advertising product business for Skype that laid the foundation for the company’s planned IPO and eventual sale to Microsoft.
Anna is also an active angel investor. In Silicon Valley, where Anna has been living for over twenty years, she co-founded two start-ups leveraging artificial intelligence applied to big data. Prior to her career in technology, Anna spent years in research and public policy, working at the World Health Organization and at the University of Berkeley, California, Goldman School of Public Policy.
She currently serves as Associated Professor of Practice of Digital Transformation at the Scuola di Direzione Aziendale (SDA) at Bocconi University, where she is also the Director of the research lab in life sciences and digital technology (LIFT Lab). She earned a Ph. D in Business Administration and a Ph. D in Criminology. She also completed a post-doctoral program in Organization Behaviour at Stanford University.