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Malaysia Airlines appoints Christoph Mueller’s replacement

The board of directors of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) has appointed chief operating officer Peter Bellew as group managing director and chief executive officer. He takes over from Christoph Mueller who stepped down from the role in March.

This follows announcements on Bellew taking on executive director duties for the MAS board late April, it has since been largely speculated by Malaysian media that he will succeed Mueller. The leadership changes have been approved by Khazanah Nasional, the sole shareholder of MAG.

According to the press statement, Mueller is serving his notice period to 9 September 2016, and will step down from the MAB board from 1 July 2016. He will remain available to the company until the end of his notice period to help ensure a smooth leadership transition.

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.

Bellew has been a member of the MAB senior management team since it started operations on 1 September 2015. His appointment will ensure continuity in the execution of the Malaysia Airlines’ turnaround plan and further progress of the overall restructuring effort.

Bellew has over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry. Joining MAB from Ryanair, where he was the director of flight operations, he was responsible for 72 bases operating a total of 320 aircraft.

He also served as the head of sales and marketing at Ryanair, where he played a role in introducing new customer service initiatives, pan-European TV advertising, and positive press relations, contributing to record sales.

“Bellew 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,” Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, chairman of MAG and MAB said.

He added that Bellew’s appointment will pave the way for a smooth transition to ensure the continued success of our national airline.

“I would like to thank Mueller 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 Bellew and the senior management team to continue driving the progress and performance of the airline further forward,” Tan said.

Read also: MAS CEO’s sudden departure: Should agencies be worried?

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