Luring Walmart boss Greg Foran back home is a mighty coup for Air New Zealand. It also mirrors another recent success for the airline.
Effectively second in command of the world's biggest bricks and mortar retailer, Foran will bring huge international experience to Air NZ at a time when it faces global challenges and battles its way back from a dip in financial performance.
The appointment has similarities to that of his predecessor Christopher Luxon, who had big international roles at Unilever before being attracted home and put on the pathway to the top airline job, which he took in 2013.
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Foran got the big job at Walmart five years ago and his move from that role is even more dramatic than it was for Luxon.
Walmart is a global giant with a market capitalisation of about US$330 billion ($522b); Air New Zealand's market cap is $3.2b.
Walmart has more than 1 million staff while Air New Zealand has about 12,500. The retailer deals with 160 million customers a week; Air NZ has about 17 million passengers a year.
It's a case of going from an international company that's a monster to an international airline that's a minnow. By size, Air NZ ranks around the middle of the pack of about 200 airlines.
Luxon's background in fast-moving consumer goods was useful in challenging some practices at Air New Zealand.
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He aimed at making it a great airline, but equally importantly, a great business.
Foran will do the same, offering fresh ideas from someone who oversaw US$500b in sales last year. Notably, he built an online retail business from scratch and will be figuring out how to translate some of that to the airline. It's what airlines can do in the digital area to ease pain points for passengers that will help them outpace competitors.
Like Luxon, he's an airline outsider and he too will rely on the vastly experienced executive around him for operational knowledge.
And like his predecessor, there's an element of coming home to give something back in what is one of the highest profile jobs in the country.
Foran has been out of New Zealand for 25 years and in a video today, wearing an All Blacks shirt, he talks about looking forward to cream doughnuts, sausage rolls and a glass of chardonnay (here he differs from the diet Pepsi-drinking Luxon).
Foran also talks of this country as having ''given me so much'' and saying ''the opportunity to put something back into New Zealand is really important to me.''
''It sort of feels like it's meant to be.''
Forsyth Barr's Andy Bowley describes the appointment as positive for the airline, which has been able to attract a ''heavy hitter'' with considerable large organisation commercial experience in a number of markets.
Foran isn't making the move for the money. In fact, he'll be taking a big pay cut. Luxon's $4.2m last year was about a quarter of what Foran was reportedly paid.
He's an early riser (like Luxon) and has a reputation as having a formidable appetite for work.
Foran's push to boost pay at Walmart has been noted among Air New Zealand's largely unionised workforce, themselves facing the squeeze as the airline looks to rein in costs.
The E tū union says its members and delegates are looking forward to meeting Foran.
"Walmart had a reputation in the USA as an anti-union, anti-worker employer but there were clear improvements in the company's approach under Foran's leadership,'' says Savage, the union's head of aviation.
Airlines increasingly have the same sorts of planes, and similar physical products on board, so it's how happy the staff are that is key to differentiating airlines.
Here, Foran is sending the right signals.
''I like being in all parts of the business getting close to people, connecting with them, understanding what they're experiencing, what's on their mind."
The airline had said it was going on a global hunt to fill the top. Finding a Kiwi with such broad experience at the top of his game, and who wants to come, home is a recruitment triumph.