New Garuda CEO told to change airline for better

January 23, 2020
Garuda has a new CEO

Garuda Indonesia has appointed a technology expert as its new chief executive after the fall from grace of his predecessor over allegations of tax evasion.

Irfan Setiaputra is the fifth chief executive at Garuda since 2014 after his appointment was approved at a shareholders meeting on Wednesday.

He most recently served as the head of the Indonesian subsidiary of French company Sigfox and previously ran telecommunications company PT Industri Telekommunikasi Indonesia as well as several other companies.

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Sigfox’s website describes it as the world’s leading service provider for the Internet of Things.

The new appointment came with changes to Garuda’s board and commissioners after a period of turmoil and saw Creative Economy Agency head Triawan Munaf appointed new president commissioner

The Jakarta Post quoted a statement from State-Owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir saying the ministry had striven to appoint the most credible figures to lead Garuda.

“I hope Pak Irfan Setiaputra may serve well to change Garuda for the better, in accordance with good corporate governance principles,’’ he said

“Based on his years of experience in the field,  Pak Triawan Munaf will also be able to impart strategic marketing insights and, hopefully, restore Garuda’s reputation, which has seen its fair share of blemishes.”

The Minister was referring to a series of problems at the Indonesia flag carrier that culminated in the dismissal of previous CEO Ari Askhara last year over allegations he attempted to smuggle in a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and high-end bicycles on a delivery flight.

Askhara was accused of trying to evade tax on the motorcycle.

Garuda in November 2019 announced a $US122.4m third-quarter profit compared to a loss of $114m in the same quarter of 2018.