The Air New Zealand executive shakeup continues, with veteran Jeff McDowall to join four other top staff leaving the airline and the announcement of the internal appointment of a chief customer and sales officer.
McDowall will leave the airline towards the middle of 2021 after the completion of the planned capital raise. Airline and tourism veteran Leanne Geraghty has been appointed to the new role.
CFO McDowall has been at the airline for more than 20 years and last year was acting chief executive for several months.
Chief executive Greg Foran said McDowall was playing a critical role in supporting him and the board as the airline rebuilt from the ravages of Covid-19.
"But after a career spanning more than two decades with the airline, he feels it will be time to open a new chapter of his career once the capital raise is complete," Foran said.
The airline will shortly commence a global search for a successor.
So far this year the departure or pending departure of four veteran executives has been announced. They are chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod, chief air operations and people safety officer John Whittaker, chief strategy networks and alliances officer Nick Judd and chief customer and commercial officer Cam Wallace.
Foran paid tribute to McDowall.
"Without Jeff's leadership over the past two decades, especially as part of the executive team in recent years, the airline would not have delivered its long run of commercial success or grown its international footprint around the world so successfully."
Geraghty is described as one of the airline's most experienced global leaders and will report directly to Foran.
"Leanne is an outstanding leader with a tremendous depth of industry knowledge having worked in the aviation and tourism industries on both sides of the Tasman for more than 30 years and led teams around the world."
He said her detailed knowledge of the New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Island markets, in particular, set the airline up well for the post-Covid-19 international tourism recovery when the time came.
"Leanne is held in the highest regard by key stakeholders ranging from trade and government partners through to our most valuable customers and her fellow Air New Zealanders."
Geraghty is currently group general manager airports and has responsibility for more than 1800 employees and operations across 50 airports internationally.
Originally from Australia, she holds a Bachelor of Economics and Finance from the University of New South Wales and has studied International Business Management at IMD in Switzerland and Marketing at the Australian Institute of Marketing.
She is also a graduate of the company directors course from the Australian Institute of Directors.