Fyfe adds Air Canada to CV
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 sec- tor 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.