Air New Zealand CEO culls executive team

written by Adam Thorn | May 22, 2020
Air New Zealand ZK-NZE Boeing 787-9 crosses over Brisbane with contrails. (Michael Marston)
Air New Zealand ZK-NZE Boeing 787-9 crosses over Brisbane with contrails. (Michael Marston)

Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran has culled his most senior executive team from nine to six, including the position of chief marketing officer.

Foran also stated that he expects it will take two years for the airline to return to even 70 per cent of its former size, and hinted more redundancies could be on the way from the airline’s “senior leadership team”.

In April, Australian Aviation revealed that the business had appointed one of the country’s most high-profile former union leaders, and a new head of HR, to advise the company on how best to make 3,500 employees redundant.

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As part of the changes, chief strategy networks officer, Nick Judd, and chief marketing officer, Mike Tod, will leave on 31 May, while people safety officer John Whittaker will depart on 31 July.

Tod, however, will continue as a consultant to the board as the business begins its restructure.

“As with the current 30 per cent workforce reduction, these three changes are equally difficult,” said Foran.

“Mike, John and Nick are going to be deeply missed and they have interacted with thousands of our Air New Zealand whanau, near and wide over many years.

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“They will leave at a time where our customer satisfaction scores are at all-time highs, we are seen to lead the way with culture and people safety in aviation, our brand health is the best it has been and our corporate reputation is number one in Australia for the third year running.”

In April, the business assembled a “Special Assistance Team” comprised of several hundred volunteer employees to support colleagues affected by COVID-19.

Foran’s bleak predictions that it would take two years to reach 70 per cent of its existing capacity come despite the airline adding more flights to its ‘Alert Level 2’ schedule.

This week, the airline said it would restart its Wellington to Queenstown route and that came days after it similarly added Taupo and Timaru to its network.

Then, Air New Zealand general manager networks Scott Carr said, “We’ve been sufficiently encouraged by demand for seats into Queenstown since publishing our schedule for Alert Level 2 that we’re bringing forward the resumption of services from Wellington.”

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