Mbuvi Ngunze resigns as Kenya Airways CEO

Kenya Airways outgoing Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze with new chairman Michael Joseph during a media briefing, November 4, 2016. /ENOS TECHE
Kenya Airways outgoing Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze with new chairman Michael Joseph during a media briefing, November 4, 2016. /ENOS TECHE

Kenya Airways chief executive

Mbuvi Ngunze has announced that he will step down in 2017, a decision that chairman Michael Joseph has said he will respect.

Ngunze will leave KQ at the first quarter of 2017 after serving as CEO and group managing director since June 2014.

Joseph said on November 4 that the national carrier had decided to retain the CEO following discussions with key stakeholders.

“I have discussed this with the unions and they understand the situation that we are in. They have given us the necessary time to go through restructuring,” he told a media briefing then.

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Joseph said on Thursday:

"While I regret this decision, Mbuvi will stay on until a successor is found which is expected to take some months."

He

said the selection of the next CEO will entail a thoughtful process tat he will lead alongside board and the nominations committee.

The chairman said they will

focus on producing the right outcomes to lead KQ into its next chapter.

"I hope to complete this process within the next three months. I have already started the process to search for and identify the right candidate with the relevant airline experience," he said.

Joseph wished Mbuvi andstaff members success amid Operation Pride turnaround initiatives and the Capital Optimization project.

"Rest assured that they can count on the continued support, productive cooperation and commitment from the Board," he added.

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The Kenya Airline Pilots Association had been pushing for the resignation of Ngunze and former chairman Dennis Awori since April.

The call intensified after the airline encountered hitches that forced the delay of flights. The union accused Ngunze and his team of being unable to get the airline out of its financial woes.

Management changes saw Awori resign prior to the airline's half-year performance update and Joseph appointed to replace him late in October.

The change also led the pilots union to call off a planned strike which had been deferred amid negotiations.

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