AirAsia Malaysia names Aireen Omar as CEO
UPDATED @ 02:34:43 PM 18-06-2012
SEPANG, June 18 — AirAsia Malaysia witnessed the start of a new era today when co-founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes announced that Aireen Omar will be its new chief executive officer.
Fernandes who has helmed AirAisa as CEO since its inception as a budget airline a decade ago will be leaving to take on a regional role in Jakarta.
Aireen,38, was formerly AirAsia's regional head of corporate finance, treasury and investor relations and will be reporting directly to Fernandes who remains group CEO of AirAsia.
Fernandes who has been synonymous with AirAsia Malaysia expressed confidence in Aireen, who was one of four candidates considered and said that she had proven herself a tough negotiator with banks as head of corporate finance.
“You can't be a little red riding hood in this business,” he said. “She's tough.”
Fernandes denied that he was abandoning Malaysia by moving his office to Jakarta and said that it would allow him to focus on growing AirAsia regionally and tap the potential of the growing Asian market.
“I believe AirAsia can be the biggest airline in the world,” he said.
Fernandes added that the “physical separation” would give the new CEO space to run the airline in her own way.
Aireen acknowledged that she had “big shoes to fill” as the new CEO.
“My toughest challenge is to maintain our market leadership,” she said referring to AirAsia's 60 per cent share of the domestic Malaysian market and 40 per cent share of its international market.
Aireen's brother, Ahmad Izham, is the CEO of TV3.