Kenya Airways Chief Executive bows to pressure, Accepts to step down

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Kenya Airways said its chief executive Mbuvi Ngunzi would leave in the first quarter of 2017, following demands from pilots for changes in the loss-making carrier’s senior management.

“Today, Mbuvi is announcing that he will be leaving KQ effective first quarter 2017,” recently appointed chairman, Michael Joseph, said in a statement on Thursday.

While accepting Ngunze’s departure, Joseph said Ngunze, after working for the company for five years, “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. Mbuvi will stay on until a successor is found which is expected to take some months,” said Joseph.

“The selection of the next CEO will be a thoughtful process led by myself together with the board governance and nominations committee, which will focus on producing the right outcomes to lead KQ into its next chapter,” he added in a statement.

Joseph, who took over as the board’s chairman on October 26 this year, said the process of picking Mr Ngunze’s replacement will take three months.

“During this period, the board chairman and the group managing director and CEO will work with the rest of the KQ senior leadership team to ensure continuity during the transition,” he said.

 On Nov. 3, the KALPA pilots union withdrew a strike notice it had issued in October, saying there had been progress on its demands, which included removing the top management.
With Files from Reuters, Daily Nation