Sir Colin Marshall

Appointed chief executive of a technically bankrupt British Airways in 1983, Marshall has succeeded in steering the company through an unparalleled turnaround over the past six years. British Airways is now considered to be among the elite air carriers in the world with regard to financial performance and passenger service.

Before joining British Airways, Marshall gained experience in managing a variety of carriers in other modes. He was employed with the Orient Steam Navigation Company for eight years beginning in 1951. He then joined the Hertz Corporation as a management trainee; where, in 1961, he was appointed general manager of the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Belgium operations.

Three years later, Marshall joined Avis, Inc. as regional manager and vice president in Europe. He moved to New York as executive vice president in 1971, becoming president in 1975 and chief executive officer in 1976. He was appointed executive vice president of Norton Simon Inc. and co-chairman of Avis in 1979. Two years later, he returned to the United Kingdom as deputy chief executive and a board member of Sears Holdings. In 1983, as the new chief executive of British Airways, he began the process of reconstruction which has transformed the company.