Air New Zealand chief to start in February with business review

December 16, 2019
Air New Zealand Foran CEO
The chief executive of Air New Zealand, Greg Foran. Photo: AIrNZ

New Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran will start his new job on February 3 with a 100-day review of the business.

A note to staff Air New Zealand from chairman Dame Therese Walsh said Foran was wrapping up his responsibilities at Walmart before spending time with family and friends in Australiasia and resettling his family in Auckland.

“When Greg starts, he will undertake a 100-day review of the business to inform his thinking on the future strategic direction of Air New Zealand,” Walsh said in the message.

“To support this review the Executive has already been well engaged with Greg providing insights across their portfolios as well as on the opportunities and challenges facing the airline.

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“Greg is keen to seek the views initially of our 1200 Air New Zealand leaders on the steps we can take to lift the airline to another level of performance before then engaging with the wider business to provide all staff the opportunity to have a voice in our future.”

The Kiwi expatriate was named as CEO in October and has been working as the president and chief executive of Walmart US. where he was responsible for the strategic direction of the retail company’s 4600 stores and more than 1 million staff.

He took up the role in 2014 and led a transformation of the business based on Walmart’s everyday low price, everyday low-cost principle that saw the company achieve multiple quarters of sales growth.

He is credited with making the stores cleaner and easier to shop and investing heavily in cutting costs on everyday items.

The new chief executive is expected to “align” with the Air New Zealand board on the airline’s strategic direction mid-year so the plans can be articulated in the August annual results,

Walsh thanked acting chief executive Jeff McDowall for an outstanding job during the transition phase.

“The business will be well set up for success heading into 2020 and our 80th anniversary year,” she said.