Air New Zealand has appointed a former Google executive, Avi Golan, to the new role of chief digital officer.

Golan will be part of the airline's top executive team and has held senior leadership positions in a range of companies, including Google, Barnes and Noble, Olive Software and Intuit where he is currently working.

In an announcement to staff today, chief executive Christopher Luxon said Golan was going to play a critical role within the airline to enhance the new revenue opportunities that digital brings, to minimise online security risks and to drive customer innovation.

"He will help us to configure ourselves so we can engage with consumers in multiple international markets in a way that is relevant to them through new and emerging channels."


Luxon said Golan was a strong product and engineering leader, with experience in building consumer-based web and mobile products for a variety of industries.

"He has led large and diverse teams competing globally, and has had significant profit and loss accountability during his career. Avi has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and has spent his career constantly involved in ideation and innovation of new technologies and creative solutions."

Golan is also co-founder of the Israeli Entrepreneurs and Founders Foundation in the United States, an organisation that helps technology start-ups be more successful in Silicon Valley.

He has an MBA and a Bachelor of Computer and Information Science. He was educated at Tel Aviv Universtity.

Golan and his wife Osnat have two adult children and a teenage son, who will complete his last year of school in New Zealand when they move here with him in mid-January.