The Board of Directors of Malaysia Aviation Group Berhad (MAG) announced leadership changes at Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), which will see current Group Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Christoph Mueller handing over to Chief Operating Officer (COO) Peter Bellew in an accelerated leadership transition.
Mr. Mueller, who resigned on 10 March 2016 and is serving his notice period to 9 September 2016, will go on leave and step down from the MAB Board from 1 July 2016. He will be replaced by Mr. Bellew, who has been appointed the new Group MD and CEO of MAG and MAB respectively, effective 1 July 2016. Mr. Mueller will remain available to the company until the end of his notice period to help ensure a smooth leadership transition.
The leadership changes have been approved by Khazanah Nasional Berhad (Khazanah), the sole shareholder of MAG.
Mr Bellew’s appointment follows a comprehensive search for a new CEO conducted by Khazanah and the MAB Board. The process, which commenced in April 2016, involved internal and external as well as local and foreign candidates.
Mr. Bellew has been a member of MAB’s senior management team since the first day of its full operations on 1 September 2015. His appointment as the new Group MD and CEO will ensure continuity in the execution of the Malaysia Airlines’ turnaround plan and further progress of the overall restructuring effort, as set out by Khazanah in its 12-point MAS Recovery Plan. It also allows for an accelerated and seamless leadership transition from Mr. Mueller.
An Irish national, Mr. Bellew has over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry. He joined MAB from Ryanair Ltd., where he served in various roles with increasing responsibility since 2006, leaving the airline as the Director of Flight Operations responsible for 72 bases operating a total of 320 aircraft. In this role, he ensured cost-effective operations and punctuality at more than 150 airports in over 30 countries, created a training organisation for 600 new Boeing pilots, built employee representative council structures in 19 countries, opened 61 new overseas bases, and introduced new technologies to reduce costs across the airline.
Mr. Bellew also served as the Head of Sales and Marketing at Ryanair, where he played a pivotal role in introducing new customer service initiatives, pan-European TV advertising, and positive press relations, contributing to record sales. Prior to that, he served as Deputy Director of Flight Operations.
Besides being MAB COO, Mr. Bellew is also an Executive Director on the MAG and MAB Boards, together with Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Omar Siddiq Amin Noer Rashid. En. Omar was appointed Director on the MAB Board on 8 September 2015, and was made MAB CFO and Executive Director on the MAB Board on 5 January 2016. En. Omar joined MAB as CFO from Khazanah, where he was Executive Director, Investments overseeing the aviation sector. Prior to that, he was Managing Director and Regional Head for Aviation, Technology, Media, and Telecoms in the Investment Banking Division of CIMB.
Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, Chairman of MAG and MAB said, “Peter has been a key figure in the airline’s senior management team responsible for executing the biggest and fastest transformation in our history. He is an exceptional leader and has been an invaluable contributor to the transformation of the airline over the last 10 months. Peter and the senior management team have established themselves positively within the company, especially in their rapport with employees, as well as externally among the aviation community. In this regard, Peter’s appointment will pave the way for a smooth transition to ensure the continued success of our national airline. I would like to thank Christoph for all the work begun under his leadership, which has seen the airline set on a path towards reclaiming its position among the world’s leading airlines. The Board of Directors and I look forward to working with Peter and the senior management team to continue driving the progress and performance of the airline further forward.”