PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines (MAS) surprised the market when it announced several boardroom changes that included the resignation of seven directors and the appointment of four corporate personalities as independent directors. AirAsia Bhd also welcomed two new directors.
Although the departure of MAS managing director Tengku Datuk Seri Azmil Zahruddin had been widely anticipated, few would have expected the national carrier’s board to now include Land & General Bhd founder Tan Sri Wan Azmi Wan Hamzah, IJM Corp Bhd executive deputy chairman Tan Sri Krishnan Tan, Astro Malaysia Holdings Sdn Bhd CEO Datuk Rohana Rozhan and Axiata Bhd director David Lau Nai Pek as independent non-executive directors.
Mohammed Rashdan Mohd Yusof was re-designated as MAS executive director, having been seconded from Khazanah Nasional Bhd.
“These appointments take effect immediately,” said MAS in a statement yesterday.
In addition, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun will be non-independent, non-executive directors of the airline effective tomorrow.
The MAS board also announced the resignations of Datuk N. Sadasivan Pillay, Keong Choon Keat, Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Annuar Zaini, Datuk Amar Mohamad Morshidi Abdul Ghani, Datuk Sukarti Wakiman and Martin Gilbert Barrow as independent non-executive directors effective Aug 7 and 8.
Tengku Azmil’s resignation took effect yesterday as well. He will join Khazanah Nasional Bhd as executive director, investments, on Sept 12.
MAS chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof said in the statement: “I would like to record my thanks to Tengku Azmil for his contribution and services to the company for the last seven years, initially as a non-executive director, later on as an executive director, chief financial officer and finally as managing director and chief executive officer.
He said Tengku Azmil made a significant contribution in the company’s transformation during his tenure as both CEO and CFO.
“I would also like to thank Sadasivan, Keong, Annuar, Morshidi, Sukarti and Barrow for their immense contributions as directors.
“This is a passing of the baton to our new directors, all of whom are immensely qualified and will bring a diverse set of management experience to our board.”
MAS also announced the establishment of an executive committee (exco) to be chaired by Md Nor.
The exco will comprise Datuk Mohamed Azman Yahya, Mohammed Rashdan, Fernandes and Kamarudin.
The exco will oversee the management of MAS until such time when a new managing director is appointed.
At the press conference to announce the Comprehensive Collaboration Framework between MAS, AirAsia and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd, Md Nor said names of several strong candidates for the MAS MD position had emerged but no timeframe had been set to appoint the new chief.
When asked why Tengku Azmil was not retained as head of MAS, Md Nor said “we are looking at a new approach and new model, so we though it was best to have a new team”.
He added that Tengku Azmil’s departure should not be overshadowed by his previous efforts and contributions to MAS.
Meanwhile, AirAsia announced the appointment of Mohamed Azman as a non-independent non-executive director and Mohammed Rashdan as his alternate director. These changes take effect tomorrow.
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