Cruz came in for criticism after cutting 10,700 BA jobs despite receiving government support, with politicians, trade unions and workers accusing the company of using the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to carry out its long-held aim of cutting costs, and putting the interests of the boardroom ahead of its passengers and workforce.
Cruz will remain BA’s non-executive chairman for now, with Sean Doyle, who has occupied the equivalent seat at IAG's Aer Lingus budget airline, becoming the new chief executive of BA with immediate effect and he will also take over as BA's chairman after a transition period.
The changes come just weeks into the regime of new group CEO Luis Gallego, who replaced longstanding boss Willie Walsh.
Among other boardroom changes, the FTSE 100-listed airlines group said that Fernando Candela, chief executive of Spanish budget brand LEVEL, has been promoted to the new role of chief transformation officer.
Temporarily replacing Doyle at Aer Lingus, the airline's chief corporate affairs officer, Donal Moriarty, will become interim chief executive until a permanent appointment is made.
In a statement, Gallego said: “IAG has proved itself to be one of the world's leading airline groups with a portfolio of successful companies. We're navigating the worst crisis faced in our industry and I'm confident these internal promotions will ensure IAG is well placed to emerge in a strong position.”
He said Cruz had “worked tirelessly” to modernise and “has led the airline through a particularly demanding period and has secured restructuring agreements with the vast majority of employees”.