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Michael O'Leary Photo by: dpa

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary ready for new role

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Michael O'Leary Photo by: dpa

Michael O'Leary, the head of low cost no frills Irish airline Ryanair, is taking his curtain call. But he's not ready to pack it in just yet.

With his characteristic stick-it-to-everyone and then laugh-all-the-way-to-the-bank attitude, O'Leary made anther major splash in the Irish press this week by insisting that he's ready to move on from Ryanair.

O'Leary says he knows the Irish public will groan when he makes the announcement. At this stage, it's beginning to sound like yet another Cher farewell tour.

"I know I say it repeatedly, but I do think I'll be gone in two or three years," O'Leary told the Irish Independent.

"Ryanair needs to change now. It's going to become a different airline. I think the focus will need to change and that's not credible under me."

O'Leary has been CEO of Ryanair since 1994 and he claims he is proud that he and his team built an international success story out of an Irish based company.

But he doesn't plan on hanging around in the background when he does decide to go, he says.

"Otherwise you're just like some bad smell. You hope you hand it on to the right management team with enough get-up-and-go to drive it forward, but if you don't, fine, you f**ked up."

O'Leary added: "I would hope that once I'm gone out of Ryanair that whatever I do the focus will be on setting an example for the kids, and not doing something stupid. But, there but for the grace of God go any of us. I'm no genius and I'm as prone to stupidity as the next guy."

O'Leary sees himself as a maverick but he knows he's also a figure of fun for the Irish establishment.

"Never underestimate the amount of animosity towards me and Ryanair, particularly among the politicians, the civil servants and the f***king chattering classes, whom I would be equally contemptuous of," he parried.
 

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