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Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Executive overhaul at Air NZ on eve of agm

Vanessa Stoddart has been with Air NZ for 10 years. Photo / Ted Baghurst
Vanessa Stoddart has been with Air NZ for 10 years. Photo / Ted Baghurst

More top level changes are being made at Air New Zealand before today's annual meeting, the last for outgoing chief executive Rob Fyfe.

He leaves at the end of the year after seven years in the top job, chairman John Palmer is in his final term and the airline's people and technical operations chief, Vanessa Stoddart, is leaving after almost 10 years.

In a message to staff this week, Stoddart was described as having contributed significantly to the business and cultural transformation of Air New Zealand.

"Vanessa acknowledges there is still much to be done in the business but believes it is time for others to have the opportunity to take the airline to the next level of performance."

It is believed she was an early contender as a successor for Fyfe but the job went to the head of the airline's long-haul operation, Christopher Luxon.

Although she was not available for an interview, the staff message said she was "likely to share her capabilities with other companies and boards in New Zealand and Australia and is looking to also pursue her interests in assisting with the diversity and education challenges that exist".

Fyfe's tenure will be marked at today's AGM, to be held at the Air Force Museum in Christchurch.

Shareholders will hear more about the airline's forecast for the current year.

Although the airline's after tax profit dipped 12 per cent to $71 million its pre-tax profit was up 21 per cent to $91 million. The airline expects the pre-tax figure to double this year.

- NZ Herald

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