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Greg Foran's turbulent start under scrutiny
Air New Zealand's chairwoman Dame Therese Walsh has continued the airline's tradition of having top brass working shifts as cabin crew, but her recent outreach looks like a deep look under the hood at how staff believe the company and top staff are performing.
The airline has confirmed reports that Walsh has been visiting staff and delivering chocolates at Air New Zealand sites including its headquarters and Christchurch and Auckland airports.
She and the board have also hosted a number of dinners with general managers at the company, while members of the executive team have been being invited into board meetings, in both cases with the chief executive, Greg Foran, notably absent.
This has led to speculation that the board may be examining Foran's performance.
Foran, previously Walmart's US chief executive, joined the company in February with no aviation industry experience.
Within weeks of starting in the role, the company faced a major crisis as the airline was forced to ground almost all flights as New Zealand's border was shut and the country went into lockdown.
As well as facing a major customer revolt over refunds (an issue in which Foran has played a minimal public role) he has faced a massive redundancy programme as well as questioning some of the expansion under his predecessor, Christopher Luxon, now a National Party candidate in the Botany electorate.
Air New Zealand said in a statement that during Covid-19 the board had been focused on supporting Foran and his team "as they work through this extremely tough situation".
The crisis "has created anxiety for all Air New Zealanders especially for the thousands who have lost their roles".
While the airline did not directly say whether the board's recent outreach amounted to an evaluation of its new chief's performance, "Dame Therese notes Greg only came into the role at the beginning of February and has done an outstanding job at managing the organisation through a crisis of this magnitude".
From public to private
Stephen Barclay, the former head of KiwiBuild - the Government's ill-fated building arm - has wasted no time in getting back into the private building sector.
Barclay resigned from KiwiBuild on January 18 last year amid an employment investigation that revealed complaints from employees, contractors and stakeholders regarding his "leadership behaviour".
In a statement to the Herald, when his resignation was made public, Barclay said the decision to leave was not his.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Chief Executive Andrew Crisp said at the time that the allegations "reflected behaviours that are not consistent with standards expected of senior public servants".
Barclay won't have to worry about pleasing any political masters in his new job - he has bought into the Tauranga franchise of Jennian Homes.
Companies Office records show Barclay's investment company Norton Barclay Investments bought shares in Jennian Homes Tauranga in October last year and now owns 80 per cent of the Tauranga franchise.
Barclay is listed as director of sales and marketing at the franchise while John Galvin, whose investment company owns the other 20 per cent, is heading up operations.
Jennian Homes is one of the largest home builders in the country. In 2019 Pacifecon Building Intelligence listed Jennian Homes as 15th largest in terms of the value of projects being worked on.
One major banking boss has taken remote working to a new level over the last four months.
BNZ chief executive Angela Mentis, who is an Australian, went back to Sydney shortly before the March 26 lockdown and is set to return to New Zealand this week to face her two week stint in managed isolation.
Mentis, who took on the top job in January 2018, has been remotely managing the 5000 staff at the bank from across the ditch.
A BNZ spokesman confirmed Mentis was in Australia prior to lockdown and based herself in Sydney to be closer to family during the uncertain time.
"She's been working remotely throughout this period and, along with our other 5000 BNZ employees, has stayed connected with colleagues and customers using technology like Microsoft Teams and Zoom."
He said Mentis would be taking a break in July before heading back to New Zealand, where she will follow the isolation requirements and continue to work remotely as required during that time.
"She is looking forward to being back and seeing the team and our customers in person."
Mentis, who is the first woman to head up the BNZ, was paid $3.08 million for the year to September 30, 2019 although her pay package was cut by $765,000 after the board of parent company National Australia Bank decided its executive leadership team would not get paid a short-term bonus, or get a rise in their fixed remuneration for its latest financial year.
Prior to heading up the BNZ she was chief customer officer business and private banking at NAB.