NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 24 – Kenya Airways Chief Executive Mbuvi Ngunze is set to resign in the first quarter of 2017.
The airline’s chairman Michael Joseph says Ngunze will however remain as CEO until a successor is found.
Joseph says the selection of the next chief executive has already begun and the process will be completed within the next three months.
“By that time, he will have worked with KQ for over five years and as the Group Managing Director and CEO for two years, and felt it was a natural point in the company’s evolution to pass on the baton. While I regret this decision, I respect his position,” Joseph said in a statement.
The move comes a month after Dennis Awori resigned as Chairman of the Board of Kenya Airways and as director of the company.
Last month the Kenya Airline Pilots Association (KALPA) threatened to strike if Awori and Ngunze did not exit but later called it off on October 17 after a deal with the management.
Without commenting on much details about the negotiations, KALPA Secretary General Paul Gichinga said they association has deferred the strike as they await the management to abide by the assurances made during the week-long negotiations.
On Thursday, Joseph said the Board Chairman and the Group MD and CEO will work with the rest of the KQ senior leadership team to ensure continuity during the transition.
“Hence, this should not negatively impact our collaboration with our business partners, financiers and other stakeholders,” Joseph noted.
Kenya airways made a loss of Sh4.7 billion in half year ended September 30, 2016, a marked improvement from the Sh11.9 billion loss it posted same period last year.
When he took over as chairman, Joseph admitted restoring the national carrier’s former glory will not be easy, but is achievable
“You know who I am. I have a legacy and I don’t intend for my legacy to be anything else than successful. I have the backing of major shareholders at the airline and we will bring Kenya Airways back,” he assured as he took over last month.
“There are areas that need to be strengthened, for instant we do not have a director of human resources management, we do not have a substantive CFO, we should fill this positions as they are vital for the operations of Kenya Airways,” he stated.