THE CEO of Belgian freight operator Lineas, Mr Geert Pauwels, resigned with immediate effect on February 3, with poor results cited for his departure.

Following losses in 2020, the company continued to report a deficit in 2021 despite a fresh injection of cash from the Belgian government and investment fund Argos, Lineas’ majority shareholder.

Mr Bernard Gustin, a former chief executive of Brussels Airlines, has been named as Pauwel’s replacement, and will be tasked with turning the company around and restoring performance to pre-pandemic levels. Argos has strengthened its hold on the company with the appointment of Mr Gilles Mougenot as vice-chairman of the Lineas board of directors and chairman of the future nomination committee.

As well as Covid-19 interruption, Lineas says it has been affected by severe disruption to the supply chain, extensive flooding in July 2021, and significant infrastructure issues in Europe.

Pauwels joined SNCB in 2008 and was a key figure in the carve out and privatisation of the SNCB-Cargo freight unit in 2015. The company was subsequently rebranded as Lineas in 2017.