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Ex-acting CEO of Air New Zealand resigns

written by Adam Thorn | October 6, 2020
A supplied image of Jeff McDowall. (Air New Zealand)
A supplied image of Jeff McDowall. (Air New Zealand)

Air New Zealand’s former acting chief executive, Jeff McDowall, has announced he’s set to resign from the airline towards the middle of 2021.

The current chief financial officer has been with the carrier for more than two decades and will leave after he’s helped oversee the planned capital raise.

The departure comes after current chief executive Greg Foran culled his most senior executive team from nine to six in May, and a month after chief commercial and customer officer Cam Wallace resigned after 19 years’ service.

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“Without Jeff’s leadership over the past two decades, especially as part of the executive team in recent years, the airline would not have delivered its long run of commercial success or grown its international footprint around the world so successfully,” Foran said.

McDowall was temporarily in charge of the business from the end of September 2019 until February 2020 following the exit of Christopher Luxon.

“We will shortly commence a global search for a successor, and I would like to thank Jeff for giving us such a long line of sight of his career intentions,” said Foran.

The business also announced it had appointed Leanne Geraghty to the newly created position of chief customer and sales officer.

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“Leanne is an outstanding leader with a tremendous depth of industry knowledge having worked in the aviation and tourism industries on both sides of the Tasman for more than 30 years and led teams around the world,” said Foran.

“Her detailed knowledge of the New Zealand, Australian and Pacific island markets, in particular, sets us up well for the post-COVID-19 international tourism recovery when the time comes.”

The news comes a month after chief commercial and customer officer Cam Wallace resigned. The executive was hailed as the public face of the airline during the coronavirus pandemic and was best known for his shoot-from-the-hip tweets.

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