Fisher & Paykel Healthcare chairman Tony Carter will replace longstanding Air New Zealand chairman John Palmer when the latter steps down in September.
Mr Palmer took over Air New Zealand when it almost collapsed in 2001 and was instrumental in the airline’s revitalization after the New Zealand government stepped in to save it.
He worked with chief executives Ralph Norris and Rob Fyfe to transform the airline into a globally recognized, award-winning carrier that expects to double its profit for this financial year to between $NZ235 million ($195m) and $NZ260m.
Mr Carter’s appointment follows a succession process initiated two years ago when Mr Palmer signaled that this would be his final term as chairman.
Mr Carter is also a non-executive director of ANZ Bank New Zealand and Fletcher Building as well as the former managing director of Foodstuffs New Zealand.
“I committed to the board last year that I would see through the transition to a new chief executive officer. Now that Christopher Luxon and his management team are off to a flying start delivering our Go Beyond plan I am confident I will leave the business in tremendous shape,” Mr Palmer said in a statement.
“I am delighted that Tony Carter will become Air New Zealand’s next chairman. He is a highly talented director with an engineering background and a strong commercial and leadership track record that already brings great value to the board table.”
Mr Palmer will remain a director of the carrier until early next year at Mr Carter’s request.
“When I took over as chairman in 2001, Air New Zealand was going through one of the darkest periods in the airline and corporate New Zealand’s history,” Mr Palmer told staff at the airline.
“I have immensely enjoyed working with successive management teams under three outstanding chief executive officers to see the airline return to its place as one of the best in the world.”
May 20th, 2013