South African Airways (SAA) on today, 12 April 2018, announced a number of key appointments, including a new chief financial officer (CFO), to fill the critical skills gap at the troubled airline as it forges ahead with implementing its turnaround strategy.
The airline is aggressively implementing its turnaround plan aimed at returning the company to financial sustainability, with leadership driving the implementation of the strategy. SAA has since taken a number of key steps as part of the turnaround, with the latest development to strengthen further the skills set to assist with the turnaround.
“The urgency to bring skills into SAA to stabilise leadership cannot be overemphasised. We have always maintained that we will adopt a three-pronged strategy to bring skills into SAA. These include searching for experienced executives to fill vacancies on a permanent basis, appointing interim executives with experience to fill the gaps whilst searching for permanent executives as well as engaging industry firms to bring capacity at short notice to industrialise our turnaround interventions. Filling the critical skills gap is top priority, especially in the financial, business and commercial specialist areas of the airline,” says Vuyani Jarana, SAA CEO.
SAA has made a number of key appointments with some of these specialists already on board.
Pumla Luhabe is Chief Commercial Officer since 19 February, joining SAA from her previous position as General Manager: Commercial for Mango since 2008. She has over 20 years of senior management experience, 15 of which in the airline industry.
Bob Head is the Interim Chief Financial Officer, effective 11 April 2018. He has extensive management experience in different senior management roles both locally and internationally. A specialist in turning businesses around and resolving business problems, he is also a former CEO of a number of companies, and Finance and Group Human Resources Director.
SAA has appointed Hendus Venter as Chief Information Officer (CIO) effective 1 May. He has over 20 years’ senior management experience in banking, insurance and technology. He is currently Group CIO for African Bank, which has made several successful technology investments in digital capabilities, data sciences, cloud networking, and cyber security.
SAA appointed Mpati Amelia as Acting Chief Legal Officer on a fixed-term contract basis effective 3 April. She is an Advocate at the Johannesburg bar and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience having being involved in significant public cases.
SAA appointed Kenneth Pillay as a Procurement Specialist, effective 12 April. He will also act as Chief Procurement Officer whilst the recruitment process is being finalised. He has more than 20 years’ experience in integrated supply chain management, which ranges from demand and procurement planning, strategic sourcing, global sourcing, and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementation across various organisations.
SAA has also made other appointments to assist with governance issues in key areas by appointing Thabang Motsohi as Regulatory Policy Officer and Vuyolwethu Tuku as Manager in Office of the CEO.
“These appointments will enhance capacity at executive levels to accelerate the execution of required strategy initiatives,” concluded Jarana.