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Malaysia Airlines Berhad announces Captain Izham Ismail as
new Group CEO


KLIA, 20 October 2017: The Board of Directors (Board) of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG) and Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) today announced Captain Izham Ismail as Executive Director and Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO) designate with immediate effect.


Currently the Chief Operating Officer (COO), Captain Izham’s appointment is in line with the succession plan that MAB has put in place as part of the 12-point MAS Recovery Plan (MRP), which provides for the development and succession of Malaysian leadership talent.


To ensure a smooth transition, a Board Executive Committee will be in place for up to 6 months. It will be led by Chairman Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof and will include Board members Tan Sri Krishnan Tan Boon Seng, Tan Sri Zamzamzairani Isa and Mr. Sheranjiv Sammanthan.


Captain Izham will assume the role of GCEO on 1 December 2017 upon the departure of Peter Bellew who is currently on administrative leave. 


Captain Izham has been integral to the airline’s ongoing turnaround effort. As COO, he was responsible for the operations division, which includes flight and airport operations as well as engineering.  He led the restructuring of the engineering division for more efficient and leaner operations, and was also responsible for the airline’s fuel savings initiative


Captain Izham has 38 years of experience in the aviation industry, having started his career with Malaysia Airlines as a pilot in 1979. He broke world aviation records when he flew Malaysia Airlines’ first B777-200 eastward from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur and back. The flight set new world records for longest flight and fastest round-the-world flight by a commercial airliner, with a total flight time of 41 hours 59 minutes over a distance of 23,310 miles.

Appointed to a management position just 10 years after joining Malaysia Airlines, he has climbed through the ranks over the years, including as Senior Instructor Pilot, Fleet Manager, and Director of Operations. Prior to becoming COO in 2016, he served as CEO of MASwings, Malaysia Airlines’ sister company in Sabah and Sarawak.

Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof, Chairman of MAB, said, “On behalf of the Malaysia Airlines group, I am extremely pleased to welcome Captain Izham to this new role. Captain Izham is a key member of the MH family and brings with him 38 years of experience in the aviation industry. He has a valuable breadth of understanding that spans airline operations and business management. I am proud that he is our own internal home grown talent and I am confident that he will be able to take the airline further forward and ensure the turnaround plan is met.”


“The MRP launched by Khazanah Nasional Berhad on 29 August 2014 provides for plans for a local successor, and the succession plan has now been accelerated. We are now in the third year of the five year MRP and it is timely for us to appoint a Malaysian to see it through to the finish line,” Tan Sri Md Nor added.


Captain Izham said: “I am extremely honoured to be entrusted with this position.  My entire career has been spent with Malaysia Airlines and it is very much my family.  Helming the national airline is a big responsibility. I am humbled and at the same time, ready for the challenge.  We are on track towards a full and complete transformation as outlined in the MRP, and I am looking forward to working with my MH colleagues to make this airline the pride of the nation again.”


As GCEO, Captain Izham will continue to be supported by a strong senior management team comprising Chief Financial Officer, Omar Siddiq; Chief Commercial Officer, Arved von zur Muehlen; Chief Information Officer, Tan Kok Meng and Executive Counsel, Nik Azli Abu Zahar. They will be joined by a new Chief Human Capital Officer, Dato’ Mohd Khalis Abdul Rahim. Dato’ Khalis is currently the Chief Human Capital Officer at Telekom Malaysia Berhad.  He has extensive experience in human capital management, having also served several multinational companies over 25 years in the field.


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