Malaysia Airlines gets homegrown CEO, the fourth in three years

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Malaysia’s state-owned carrier Malaysia Airlines on October 21 named veteran senior executive Izham Ismail as its new CEO after his predecessor surprisingly quit which dealt a fresh blow to the struggling airline.

Izham, currently the company’s chief operating officer, will be the carrier’s fourth chief executive since 2014, when the company was plunged into crisis by the disappearance of flight MH370 and the downing of MH17.

The previous CEO, Peter Bellew, abruptly resigned this week after just over a year in the job to rejoin Ryanair, which has recently been hit by a crisis that led to the cancellation of thousands of flights. Bellew’s predecessor, German turnaround specialist Christoph Mueller, also resigned in a surprise move about a year ago, citing “personal reasons” which were quickly interpreted to be  a result of political interference.

Mueller followed Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the airline’s CEO from 2011 to 2014 who had to directly deal with the two catastrophes and today works in the property and infrastructure industry.

Malaysia Airlines’ owner Khazanah Nasional said in a statement that Izham’s appointment was “in line with the carrier’s recovery plan,” which provides for the development of Malaysian talent.

“I am proud that he is our own internal home grown talent and I am confident that he will be able to take the airline further forward and ensure the turnaround plan is met,” Malaysia Airlines chairman Mohammed Nor Yusof said.

Izham joined Malaysia Airlines as a pilot in 1979 and has held a series of senior positions at the company. He is to take up the role of chief executive in December.

Meanwhile, Peter Bellew denied allegations that his resignation had to do with political interference in the management of the national airline and that it was the reason he left the company. The point was made by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad  who is running in the country’s general election next year.

Bellew clarified that he had received no interference from anyone on anything during his time in the company since he assumed the position on July 1 last year, saying that Mahathir was “100 per cent” wrong.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s state-owned carrier Malaysia Airlines on October 21 named veteran senior executive Izham Ismail as its new CEO after his predecessor surprisingly quit which dealt a fresh blow to the struggling airline.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Malaysia’s state-owned carrier Malaysia Airlines on October 21 named veteran senior executive Izham Ismail as its new CEO after his predecessor surprisingly quit which dealt a fresh blow to the struggling airline.

Izham, currently the company’s chief operating officer, will be the carrier’s fourth chief executive since 2014, when the company was plunged into crisis by the disappearance of flight MH370 and the downing of MH17.

The previous CEO, Peter Bellew, abruptly resigned this week after just over a year in the job to rejoin Ryanair, which has recently been hit by a crisis that led to the cancellation of thousands of flights. Bellew’s predecessor, German turnaround specialist Christoph Mueller, also resigned in a surprise move about a year ago, citing “personal reasons” which were quickly interpreted to be  a result of political interference.

Mueller followed Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the airline’s CEO from 2011 to 2014 who had to directly deal with the two catastrophes and today works in the property and infrastructure industry.

Malaysia Airlines’ owner Khazanah Nasional said in a statement that Izham’s appointment was “in line with the carrier’s recovery plan,” which provides for the development of Malaysian talent.

“I am proud that he is our own internal home grown talent and I am confident that he will be able to take the airline further forward and ensure the turnaround plan is met,” Malaysia Airlines chairman Mohammed Nor Yusof said.

Izham joined Malaysia Airlines as a pilot in 1979 and has held a series of senior positions at the company. He is to take up the role of chief executive in December.

Meanwhile, Peter Bellew denied allegations that his resignation had to do with political interference in the management of the national airline and that it was the reason he left the company. The point was made by former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad  who is running in the country’s general election next year.

Bellew clarified that he had received no interference from anyone on anything during his time in the company since he assumed the position on July 1 last year, saying that Mahathir was “100 per cent” wrong.

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