Thursday, June 14, 2012

New CEO for AirAsia?

The Star Online > Business
Thursday June 14, 2012
New CEO for AirAsia?

Datuk Bernard Francis also set to rejoin airline

By B.K. SIDHU
bksidhu@thestar.com.my

PETALING JAYA: A day after Mohammed Rashdan Yusof quit as Malaysia Airlines (MAS) deputy group chief executive officer, there is talk that two other senior executives will relinquish their positions at the national carrier in the coming weeks and the airline's former senior general manager of marketing, Datuk Bernard Francis, will join AirAsia Bhd by July.

These are some of the changes that are expected at both the airlines, but come Monday, AirAsia is expected to make a major announcement on its organisational structure now that it has set up its regional headquarters in Jakarta. AirAsia is also expected to name the CEO for its Malaysian operations.

Tan Sri Tony Fernandes declined to name the candidate for the Malaysian operations when he met StarBiz yesterday but the market is abuzz with talks that Aireen Omar will succeed him.

Aireen is regional head of corporate finance and treasury at AirAsia.

Aireen and Bo Lingam, the chief of operations and planning at AirAsia, are among the several candidates for the job; but Bo is not keen to be CEO of the Malaysia operations and he is likely to be promoted the regional chief of operations and planning.

Fernandes will remain the supremo of the AirAsia group and the deputy CEO will still be his long-time business partner, Datuk Kamarudin Meranun. What will change is that Fernandes will no longer be involved in the day-to-day operations of running the Malaysian office as that role will be taken over by Aireen.

Fernandes also confirmed yesterday that Francis will be rejoining AirAsia in July.

“He will be our commercial head for our Indonesian operations,'' Fernandes said.

Francis is no stranger to AirAsia as he was with the airline when it started off a decade ago; subsequently he left AirAsia to join MAS. However, he quit MAS a month before the airline entered into an share swap deal in August last year with AirAsia, but the swap has since been unwound.

The two executives at MAS that are expected to leave are said to be the chief financial officer Rozman Omar and head of engineering and maintenance Azhari Mohd Dahlan. Both these senior executives were formerly from AirAsia but joined MAS after the share swap was inked.

“Rozman has submitted his resignation and despite being coaxed by senior executives and even some board members to stay back, he is leaving MAS. He will join AirAsia and take on a bigger portfolio as regional head of finance and will be based at the regional office in Jakarta by July this year,'' said an official.

As for Azhari, the official said, “he is very much in MAS now but it would be no surprise if he decides to also leave in due time.''

The establishment of a regional base is part of AirAsia's strategy to boost growth in the region. AirAsia has grown from a one country operations to having business spread across Asia.

Fernandes said with the huge growth expansion planned for the region, the airline would need more aircraft and he was looking at placing an order for at least 50 more aircraft but a decision on that would only be made over the next two months. The airline has 103 aircraft in operation currently.

Rashdan quit as deputy group chief executive officer of MAS on Tuesday but will continue to remain a MAS board member till the end of the month.

Source/Extract/Excerpts/来源/转贴/摘录: The Star Online
Publish date:14/06/12

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