Ex-TAP CEO says reputation in tatters after government sacked her

 In Aviation, Litigation, News, TAP

Former TAP CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener, who was fired from her job over a “just cause” says that doors are slamming in her face from working for listed companies and says her career has been hamstrung by the Portuguese government’s actions.

The former airline executive says she feels “a great injustice” has been committed by the Portuguese government, and that she has been “humiliated” and “mistreated” and that her 35-year career is in “tatters”, as well as suffering “moral and personal damage” to her reputation.
Through her lawyers, she says that she will “never be able to be in senior management in flagship airline companies or listed companies on the stock market” while she has this “stain” on her curriculum, as she pursues a €6 million compensation lawsuit against TAP S.A. and TAP SGPS according to legal documents that the news source ECO has obtained.
An example of the damage she has sustained is her forced step down from her non-executive board position at the British Met Office, which she was appointed to in February 2021 with an annual salary of €15,000.
On March 8, 2023, just two days after being fired by the Portuguese government for “just cause” on March 6, Christine Ourmières-Widener was contacted by the chairman of the Met Office to provide explanations about her situation at TAP after articles about her dismissal appeared in the British and International press, and which led her to travel to London to give a personal explanation.
On March 16, she was informed that the government of the United Kingdom was “very concerned” with the impact of the accusations made, and that her remaining in the post would have to be studied by the UK secretary of State in charge of the Met Office.
On 10 May, she was informed that her continuation in the post was compromised, and that it had been decided to “remove” the director with “immediate effect” and asked for her resignation.
Another example was the UK fund manager Vintage Asset Management which qualified her in the market as a “higher than average risk” and informed her that it could no longer have her as a client and make investments on her behalf”.
The former airline executive also says she feels “angry” and that her “dignity” has been trampled on, in addition to suffering sleeping problems as a result of the toll the dismissal and consequent press coverage had on her social and family life which had led to an “indescribable depression”.
Christine Ourmières-Widener also says she feels “ashamed at some of the public commentaries that have been levelled at her person” based on a “concocted tissue of fallacious stories” put about by the airline company to “justify their actions and avoid paying out compensation for a dismissal that merely suited them”.
The Portuguese Ministry of Finances justified the dismissal on a “grave violation by action or omission, of the company’s statute regulations under article 25 of the Public Management Statute.
The accusation was based on the conclusions of an audit undertaken by the IGF (Institute of Financial Management) which considered the contract signed between the airline company and its former director Alexandra Reis for a €500,000 compensation package for her resignation as nul and void since a resignation by mutual agreement between the company and the ex-director did not legally merit the right to any kind of compensation.
Christine Ourmières-Widener says in her legal defence that she was dismissed for purely political motives and that the IGF had recommended an evaluation and not dismissal, as well as the company lacking concrete grounds on which to base their arguments for her dismissal.