Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) is reorganizing and reinventing itself (code named NewCo) under the former CEO of Aer Lingus and now the new CEO Christoph Mueller who will take control of the struggling carrier on May 1. The new Malaysia Airlines will take to the skies on July 1 as an reinvented airline with only specially invited employees. Will this lead to a new name and/or brand? The latter is very likely.
Image Below: Will the Kelantan kite logo survive the makeover? The red and blue kite logo was updated in October 1987 from the previous all red kite logo of Malaysian Airline System (MAS) of 1972. According the airline the slanted updated 1987 logo was to “express grace in motion but also thrust and dynamism”. So far the kite has also been the symbol of rebirth for the airline (see video below).
Previously on March 20 the board of directors outlined this leadership change and the restructuring effort:
The Board of Directors of Malaysian Airline System Berhad (MAS) announced that Christoph Mueller will assume the post of Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective May 1, 2015
Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, the current Managing Director and Group CEO, will step down from his executive position on April 30, 2015, and be appointed as a Non-Executive Director on the Board, for a period from May 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015.
Mueller is currently a Non-Executive Director on the Board and CEO-designate of the new company Malaysia Airlines Berhad (NewCo).
The decision to bring forward the leadership transition was made by the Board at its meeting on March 18, 2015. Subsequently, the Board sought, via a letter dated March 20, 2015, and received approval on the same day from Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah), the sole shareholder of MAS, for Mueller’s appointment and related matters.
The accelerated leadership transition will enable Mueller to be in a position to lead the overall MAS restructuring effort as it enters one of its most critical phases. It will also provide him with the executive capacity and an appropriate timeframe to prepare NewCo to begin operations. This will have a positive impact on the long-term MAS restructuring effort and provide the best possible chance for a successful turnaround.
Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof, Chairman of MAS, said: “We are pleased to welcome Christoph and look forward to his leadership, as the new Managing Director and CEO, in driving the effort to rebuild and restore our national icon to its rightful status. We would also like to thank Ahmad Jauhari for his dedication and selfless service to MAS from the first day of his appointment on 19 September 2011. He will remain on the Board as a Non-Executive Director to help ensure a smooth transition to NewCo. He has our utmost gratitude and all of us at MAS wish him the very best.”
Christoph Mueller said: “I am honored by the trust placed in me. MAS is not just the national carrier of Malaysia, it is a symbol of national pride, and loyalty and affection towards the airline runs deep among Malaysians. I look forward to working on the restructuring hand-in-hand with our employees, unions, management and the Board to restore the airline’s profitability. All these stakeholders will be asked for their contribution in a very ambitious turnaround plan, but with the continued support of the Malaysian Government, Khazanah, our loyal customers and the travelling public, we will ultimately be successful.”
Following the leadership transition, NewCo will be ready for the migration of MAS’ operations, assets and liabilities on July 1, 2015.
NewCo employees will commence work on September 1, 2015 together with Mueller, who will officially assume the position of NewCo Managing Director and Group CEO on that date.
To affect the employee migration, NewCo will issue employment offer letters to selected MAS employees on June 1, 2015. On the same date, MAS will issue employment termination letters with a three-month notice to all its employees. This variation from the earlier schedule of April 1, 2015 has been approved by Khazanah on March 20, 2015.
The process of identifying the pool of staff that meets NewCo’s requirements is underway, following the completion of a comprehensive talent assessment exercise in February 2015.
Exiting employees will have access to the training and placement services provided by the Corporate Development Centre, which will be operational by the time of the issuance of the termination letters.
Above Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MSG (msn 40149) in the 2010 livery arrives in Bangkok.
Below photo: Malaysia Airlines. Malaysia Airlines has been using the hashtag #KEEPFLYING as its new advertising theme. The theme really has a double meaning for the airline trying to survive and reinvent itself after two tragic Boeing 777 crashes in one year.
Video: Malaysia Airlines. The airline is attacking its tragic year of 2014 head on and not trying to run away from it:
A look back at 2014, our comeback story: