Greg Foran makes big changes to Air New Zealand executive team

Left to right: CEO Greg Foran, Nick Judd, John Whittaker, Mike Tod
Left to right: CEO Greg Foran, Nick Judd, John Whittaker, Mike Tod Photo credit: Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran is reducing the size of the company's executive team as the airline adapts to a much smaller scale in the wake of the impact of COVID-19.

"As we have done in all parts of our business, we are creating the structure that is appropriate for an airline which we expect will take two years to get back to 70 percent of its former size. On that basis I have reduced the size of the executive team from nine to six," Foran said. 

Chief strategy networks and alliances officer Nick Judd will depart the airline on May 31 and chief air operations and people safety officer John Whittaker on July 31.

Long-serving chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod will step away from the airline full time on May 31 but the airline says he will provide advisory support to the CEO and board "during the current business transformation phase". 

Foran says the portfolios of the three departing executives will be absorbed by the remaining members of the executive team. 

"In my short time at Air NZ, they have been incredibly helpful to me as I have settled into the role and their deep experience has been vital as we've navigated through a most tumultuous past 100 days," says Foran.

"As with the current 30 percent workforce reduction, these three changes are equally difficult. Mike, John and Nick are going to be deeply missed and they have interacted with thousands of our Air NZ whanau, near and wide over many years. Externally, they also play a critical role with our domestic and international partners and suppliers."

The three departures follow the redundancy of around 300 pilots and more than 900 cabin crew members in the past few weeks.

Foran says he will now start a review of the airline's senior leadership team.