Malaysia Airlines Bhd on Friday named veteran senior executive Izham Ismail as its new CEO after his predecessor’s shock departure dealt a fresh blow to the struggling carrier.
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 last CEO, Peter Bellew, abruptly resigned this week after just over a year in the job to rejoin Ryanair Ltd, which has recently been hit by a crisis that led to the cancelation of thousands of flights.
The Irishman said he was returning to Ryanair out of a sense of responsibility to his native country, where the airline is based.
Bellew’s predecessor, German turnaround specialist Christoph Mueller, also resigned in a surprise move about a year ago.
Malaysia Airlines 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.
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