Fyfe adds Air Canada to CV

Manawatu Standard - - BUSINESS - JULIE ILES

Rob Fyfe, the for­mer chief ex­ec­u­tive of Air New Zealand, has been ap­pointed to the board of Air Canada.

Fyfe was with Air New Zealand from 2005 un­til 2012. Un­der his watch, the com­pany was named Air­line of the Year, ‘‘New Zealand’s most at­trac­tive em­ployer’’ and ‘‘most rep­utable com­pany’’ by Air Trans­port World.

Fyfe was known by em­ploy­ees as ‘‘Rob the Knife’’ when he took over as chief ex­ec­u­tive and slashed hun­dreds of jobs, start­ing cuts just five days into the job.

Upon his res­ig­na­tion from the com­pany he was re­ferred to as a ‘‘rock star CEO’’ by a lead­er­ship ex­pert, and for­mer union boss An­drew Lit­tle who squared off with him on job cuts called him ‘‘one of New Zealand’s bet­ter busi­ness lead­ers’’.

Air Canada chief ex­ec­u­tive Calin Rovi­nescu said, ‘‘We are de­lighted that Rob has agreed to bring his lead­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence and deep knowl­edge of the air­line sec­tor and Asia-pa­cific to the ser­vice of our com­pany and our share­hold­ers.’’

Fyfe will re­place long-stand­ing board mem­ber Joseph Leonard who will re­tire on September 30 after a decade with the com­pany.

Leonard was pre­vi­ously the chief ex­ec­u­tive of bud­get Amer­i­can air­line Airtran Air­ways.

Rovi­nescu said, ‘‘On be­half of our em­ploy­ees, direc­tors and share­hold­ers, I sin­cerely thank Joe for his strate­gic in­sight, ad­vice and con­tri­bu­tion to our trans­for­ma­tion and share­holder value creation.’’

Fyfe is in­volved in the man­age­ment of sev­eral New Zealand com­pa­nies as chair of out­door ap­parel de­signer Ice­breaker, di­rec­tor of gov­ern­ment-funded re­search pro­gramme Antarc­tica New Zealand, and di­rec­tor of jew­ellery chain Michael Hill In­ter­na­tional.

He also owns a sig­nif­i­cant 25 per cent share in on­line wine re­tail start-up Winefriend, which de­liv­ers bot­tles of wine to cus­tomers spe­cially tai­lored to per­sonal tastes.

Rob Fyfe

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