gategroup announces appointment of Christoph Schmitz as new Chief Executive Officer

Zurich, September 13, 2021. gategroup, the leading global airline catering and food services provider, today announced that Xavier Rossinyol will step down as Chief Executive Officer effective November 1, 2021 to pursue new challenges outside of the airline industry. He will be succeeded by Christoph Schmitz, gategroup’s Chief Financial Officer since January 2015.

Xavier Rossinyol joined gategroup in April 2015 and led the company through a strong growth phase with record year-on-year financial results; and navigated the complex COVID-19 pandemic.

Between 2015 and 2019, gategroup grew its revenues from CHF3bn to 5bn, enlarging its customer base to 300+ global customers and expanding its footprint to 200+ locations and its presence to 60+ countries. In the course of this expansion, the group incorporated Servair in 2017 and LSG Europe in 2020 developing strategic partnerships with Air France and Lufthansa.

From a near-global air travel shutdown in 2020, gategroup took decisive action to protect its employees, customers, and other stakeholders. With the support from the shareholders, lenders and bondholders, it completed a comprehensive financial restructuring of the group in 2021 and accelerated the expansion into adjacent, non-aviation markets, drawing on its core competencies.

“Under Xavier’s leadership, gategroup has truly become a global food-focused company and the world leading inflight caterer, being recognized for providing the most innovative culinary and retail offering tailored to individual customer needs in any market they operate, consistently and efficiently. gategroup is uniquely positioned today for the return of travel and to serve new customers beyond aviation”, said Timo Vättö, Chairman of the Board of gategroup.

Christoph Schmitz joined gategroup as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Management Board in January 2015 with over 20 years of experience as a CFO at multinational companies. In his capacity as Group CFO, Christoph has been involved in all key strategic projects of the group. He led the public-to-private ownership transition in 2016, the acquisitions of Servair and LSG Europe, the changes of ownership in 2018 and 2019, and the restructuring initiatives in 2021 to secure the group’s financial position and build a stronger, more diversified portfolio for the future. In addition, Christoph has led a significant consolidation of the group’s IT infrastructure and applications landscape achieving material efficiency gains.

“Christoph’s contribution has been instrumental to drive the market consolidation strategy and secure the financing to enable gategroup weathering the crisis. The Board is confident that under Christoph’s leadership, the gategroup team will resume and accelerate on its growth path”, said Timo Vättö.
“I would like to congratulate Christoph to his appointment as gategroup’s CEO. He has been a key driver of the group’s achievements over the last 7 years with his talent, leadership, strategic thinking, commitment, and team focused approach. I want to thank our customers, partners, suppliers and banks for their support all along. Special thanks to the Shareholders and the Board of Directors. And a forever thanks to the leadership team and to all employees. All what we have achieved is thanks to them and our teamwork – my most personal and professional respect. I am convinced that a new era of success starts for gategroup under the strong leadership of Christoph”, said Xavier Rossinyol.

Xavier Rossinyol will remain with gategroup through January 2022, supporting the transition.

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About gategroup

gategroup is the global leader in airline catering, retail-on-board and hospitality products and services. gategroup provides passengers with superior culinary and retail experiences, leveraging innovation and advanced technology solutions. Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, gategroup delivers operational excellence through the most extensive catering network in the aviation industry, serving passengers from over 200 operating units in over 60 countries/territories across all continents. For further information, please visit

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