AirAsia Group has hired former managing director of adidas APAC, Colin Currie (pictured), as its chief commercial officer to develop a consumer-centric strategy using data to optimise growth and meet the financial objectives across AirAsia’s airlines and digital units. The appointment will be effective as of 10 November 2021.
As the former managing director of adidas Asia Pacific, covering Greater China, South Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia and Pacific countries, Currie was responsible for making adidas one of the hottest consumer brands in the region, growing the company’s revenue fivefold in Greater China and narrowing the market share gap from fourth to head to head market leadership. He was also credited for improving the brand’s operating model and leading the regional market to record-breaking growth.
Currie said: “I am excited to be joining AirAsia Group with my experience and knowledge in enhancing the overall brand and sales performance, especially in the new digital enterprises. I have been closely following AirAsia’s amazing growth story, and I am confident that, together with its passionate teams, we can put the pedal to the metal in accelerating and solidifying AirAsia’s success as a leading digital tech and lifestyle company in ASEAN. This is the most exciting time to join AirAsia as it embarks on its next revolution embracing the digital era."
The latest decision to bring in the seasoned Malaysian businessman serves to underscore AirAsia’s commitment and strategic focus on increasing market competitiveness of its new businesses, including airasia Super App and its eCommerce ventures.
CEO of AirAsia Group Tony Fernandes said: “We are delighted to welcome Currie onboard. He brings a wealth of experience at a global company which has also focused on ASEAN, and can drive data integration within the Group to speed up our revenue growth and create a new breadth of synergies across many of our new and exciting projects.”
He added that this “is a big statement on AirAsia’s part” to be recruiting Currie as the world comes out of Covid. “It is also a great testament to the brand despite all our issues, as great people continue to join us on this very exciting journey,” he said.
Prior to joining adidas, Currie worked in the music and entertainment industry as managing director of Sony BMG Music Malaysia. Before that, Currie developed a broad knowledge of marketing in Hong Kong and Australia through key marketing positions with Citibank, Ansett Australia and Telstra Mobile.
AirAsia has had some notable changes on its leadership teams in recent times. In September, AirAsia's chief growth and platform officer, Ravi Shankar, stepped down after close to five years with the company. He first joined the team in 2017 as group head of digital marketing before rising through the ranks and eventually helming the role of chief growth and digital officer.
In October, AirAsia's chief customer happiness officer, Adam Geneave, stepped down after three years with the company. In a LinkedIn post, Geneave said there has been so much transformation and digitalisation during his time with the company but beyond everything, he is proud of the team.
Meanwhile, AI-powered customer data platform Blueshift also hired CEO of AirAsia Media Group Sumit Ramchandani as managing director to head up its APAC expansions, months after it raised US$30 million in Series C funding in February this year.
Meanwhile, AirAsia as a brand has been making massive moves to innovate its services. Most notably, it renamed to AirAsia Aviation Limited, as the company transforms from an airline into a digital travel and lifestyle services group. Bo Lingam, formerly president (Airlines) for AirAsia Group, took over as group CEO of AirAsia Aviation Limited, overseeing the four airlines in the Group - AirAsia Malaysia, AirAsia Philippines, AirAsia Thailand and AirAsia Indonesia). Tony Fernandes continues to helm the role as CEO of AirAsia Group.
AirAsia Group is the investment holding company for the eight digital portfolio companies that leverage data and technology to deliver the best value at the lowest cost. Its portfolio includes AirAsia Aviation, the AirAsia Super App, cargo and logistics venture Teleport, BigPay financial services, the edutech arm AirAsia Academy, engineering company Asia Digital Engineering, ground services division GTR and the restaurant chain and food group called Santan. The structural change was said to help facilitate strong projected growth in both airline and non-airline portfolio businesses.
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