Since Christophe Mueller took over there have been some sweeping changes to the senior management of Malaysia Airlines which I hope will help to turnaround the airline and bring in much needed improvements. I’ve gone through these with my view on what they might bring.
Chief Information Officer
In early May Malaysia Airlines announced the appointment of Tan Kok Meng as Chief Information officer. Tan was the Group CIO & Head CIO & Head, Regional Shared Services of Malayan Banking Berhad and had served as Programme Director, Finance Transformation of AstraZeneca (Malaysia).
Christophe Mueller has made it clear that IT is one of the areas that investment is sorely needed and has the backing of investors.
From a customer perspective we’ve seen over the last year a face lift to the main Malaysia Airlines website and a few new additions and features. But there are still several versions of the mobile website, it’s still very difficult to select/change seats and the Enrich site looks like something from the early 2000’s .
Hopefully as a consumer we’ll see some changes to these but I suspect much of the focus will be on the reservations/booking system as well as their operations systems. Here’s the link for more information:
The second change is to the company secretary, the new appointment is Dato’ Sabrina Albakri Abu Bakar. She’s currently the Group Head, Legal, Secretarial and Regulatory Counsel in Pos Malaysia Berhad and is a licensed Company Secretary.
With all of the changes to the company structure coming into effect at the start of September Malaysia Airlines will need someone to make that transition smooth.
From a commercial point of view I hope that in the future Malaysia Airlines will be open to more outside investment, Joint Ventures and partnerships – giving more options to flyers.
Chief Operations Officer
One of the most interesting appointments is the new Chief Operations Officer Peter Bellew. Peter comes from Ryanair which is the largest low-cost carrier in Europe and a competitor to Christophe Mueller’s previous company Aer Lingus. According to the Malaysia Airlines site he was the Director of Flight Operations for up to 72 bases, operating a total of 320 aircraft.
Having flown Ryanair quite a bit in the past I think this is a great appointment as we’ll see some positive changes to the way that Malaysia Airlines operates its aircraft and ground operations. Turnaround times will be reduced and hopefully Malaysia Airlines will get more out of its existing (or remaining) aircraft going forward – reducing cost and helping to keep the current fares low. For more information check here:
Corporate Communications and Sales
The last changes are the appointments of corporate communications and sales. Faridah Hashim has been appointed as the Head of Corporate communications after previously working for Axiata Group Bhd.
The role will be very important to communicate the changes coming in as the company comes out of administration and rebrands.
The second role is the Head of Sales role which is being taken up by Laurent Recoura who previously worked at Air Asia Philippines.
The press release that was issued states that Recoura will be the development and deployment of customized sale, customer interaction and experience strategies.
I think that translates into other news that we’ve heard that Malaysia Airlines is looking to de-couple its product offering. We’ve already seen additional services added to the Malaysia Airlines product like MHUpgrade, MHGourmet and extra baggage in the last year. What I think is coming next is that you’ll be able to buy business class without the lounge access or priority check-in. It’ll be interesting to see how the market reacts to that.
To find out more check out the release:
What are your thoughts on the new appointments? or the changes coming in?