AirAsia names Riad Asmat CEO, shuffles senior leadership roles

AirAsia has appointed Riad Asmat (pictured left) as its new chief executive officer (CEO) for its Malaysia-based operations, to succeed Aireen Omar (pictured right), who has been promoted to deputy group CEO - digital, transformation, corporate services.

Riad Asmat will assume his post effectively on 10 January 2018, and report directly to Bo Lingam, deputy group CEO of AirAsia - airline business. Riad Asmat is the son of Tan Sri Asmat Kamaludin, a director of AirAsia X. He is currently the director for corporate planning, strategy and business development at Naza Corporation Holdings.

The airline said Aireen Omar's appointment signals its determination to transform itself from an aviation company into a digital corporation. "This appointment underlines as well the fact that AirAsia is restructuring its priorities to optimally maximise the enormous potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution," it added.

The new appointments were announced by Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, AirAsia Group CEO, who also denied rumour earlier that he is retiring in the tweets below.

Apart from above, Fernandes also announced the appointments of Captain Adrian Jenkins, current group director, flight operations as chief operations officer, as well as, Rozman Omar, current deputy group CEO, strategy and MNA as the executive director of AirAsia International Limited (AAIL). AAIL is a holding company of all AirAsia group investments in its overseas joint ventures.

In his new role, Captain Adrian Jenkins, will drive AirAsia group’s On Time Performance (OTP) and overall customer experience, among others.

Meanwhile, digital transformation will be Aireen Omar's priority, where she will be spearheading the non-airline companies such as BIGPay, BIG Loyalty, ROKKI Shoppe, ROKKI Portal, Travel360, Vidi, RedTix, AirAsiaGo, BD4H, RedCargo, Red Box and Santan.

Additionally, she will oversee large, strategic group-wide initiatives and help transform AirAsia into a global, cloud-driven product and platform company. Aireen will be responsible for AirAsia’s digital strategy, promoting innovation throughout the group and encouraging collaboration across AirAsia’s businesses and markets.

She will also continue to lead the corporate services sector for the AirAsia group, which includes risk management, government affairs and corporate development. Aireen will report directly to Fernandes, effective 10 January 2018. She joined AirAsia in January 2006 as director of corporate finance, and was appointed as AirAsia's CEO and executive director on 1 July 2012.

“The new appointments brings focus to both our core airline business as well as our digital growth businesses. Having Bo Lingam lead the airline business, brings continued strength to our operations, serving close to 70 million guests per year.[...].We are fully confident that Riad Asmat will lead the company into the next phase of its development," Fernandes said.

Fernandes added, with Aireen Omar driving on its non-airline and digital businesses, it brings "focus on disruptive growth for our new businesses."

“I am looking forward to working closely with the co-founders Fernandes, Datuk Kamarudin, the board of directors, the dynamic management and over 22,000 dedicated Allstars to continue achieving greater heights for the company,” Riad Asmat said. He will be joining a team of other CEOs including Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of AirAsia Thailand, Dendy Kurniawan, AirAsia Indonesia CEO, Captain Dexter Comendador, Philippines AirAsia CEO, Amar Abrol, AirAsia India CEO and Osamu Hata, AirAsia Japan CEO - all of whom will report directly to Bo Lingam.