Pilots join the chorus for an expatriate to succeed Ngunze
The last expatriate CEO at the national carrier was Briton Brian Davies who left in 1999 after a seven-year successful tenure following privatisation in 1996 through an IPO
Kenya Airways pilots have joined rising a chorus for an expatriate to succeed outgoing chief executive Mbuvi Ngunze.
Kenya Airline Pilots Association, the influential pilots union, says the next KQ boss should have “immense aviation industry experience”. Kenya Airways board chair Michael Joseph has made it clear that the search for the next CEO will be “worldwide”, according to a report in one of the dailies.
Kalpa secretary-general Paul Gichinga said the loss-making national carrier should hire an expatriate with experience in guiding an airline three times larger than KQ by aircraft fleet capacity.
KQ has a fleet of about 30 aircraft, meaning the pilots are keen on a manager of an airline with about 100 planes.
“We don’t think we have someone with the kind of experience in Kenya or Africa. It has to be an expatriate,” Gichinga said in an interview. “We don’t want a former manager or someone coming to learn on the job. We don’t want guess work.”
The last expatriate CEO at KQ was Briton Brian Davies who left in 1999 after a seven-year stint.
If their wish is granted, the carrier will become the second firm with immense public interest to hire an expatriate in as many months. Norwegian Jonny Andersen took over the helm at Kenya Airports Authority on November 21, five months after he was hired following a competitive recruitment process.
Kalpa played a central role in the ouster of board chair Dennis Awori, who resigned on October 26, and Ngunze who is headed for the exit door by March.
The pilots have expressed confidence in Joseph, a former Safaricom CEO, to steer the airline’s board in formulating strategies to turn around the listed firm, controlled 29.8 per cent by the state.
“We need people who can do things differently and make decisions that will grow the revenues of the airline,” Gichinga said.
The board announced on November 24, that Ngunze will be leaving in the first quarter of 2017, bringing to an end his five-year career at the loss-making national carrier.
“Mbuvi will stay on until a successor is found which is expected to take some months,” Joseph said in a statement last month when he announced the impending exit of Ngunze.