Malaysia Airlines newer CEO?

Former IPP CEO and now Malaysia Airlines MD Ahmad Jauhari Yahya

A name was announced a month ago as the new Managing Director of Malaysia Airlines to replaced sacked CEO Tengku Dato’ Azmil Zaharuddin Raja Abdul Aziz. Former MRCB Ahmad Jauhari Yahya has been appointed to the national carrier.

Ahmad Jauhari Yahya takes on MD post in MAS (Update)

Posted on 14 September 2011 – 07:03pm
Last updated on 15 September 2011 – 05:56pm

PETALING JAYA (Sept 14, 2011): Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has appointed Ahmad Jauhari Yahya as managing director (MD) effective Sept 19, 2011.

In a statement today, MAS said Mohammed Rashdan would remain as executive director reporting to the MD.

Ahmad Jauhari is currently a non-independent, non-executive director of Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd.

He takes over from Tengku Datuk Seri Azmil Zahruddin who left in August.

Prior to his appointment, Ahmad Jauhari was MD/chief executive officer (CEO) of Premium Renewable Energy (M) Sdn Bhd.

He has a vast and diverse working experience in various industries which include oil and gas, publication, engineering, power and energy.

Ahmad Jauhari holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in electrical and electronic engineering from University of Nottingham, UK.

He started his career with Esso Malaysia Bhd before joining The New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd, where he rose to become senior group general manager, production and circulation in 1990.

In 1992, he joined Time Engineering Bhd as deputy managing director and was subsequently made MD in the same year.

He then served as MD of Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd and Malakoff Bhd. Ahmad Jauhari has also served as director and chairman of executive committee of Central Electricity Generating Co Ltd (Jordan) and director of Shuaibah Expansion Project Co Ltd (Saudi Arabia).

He was former honorary president of Penjanabebas (Association of Independent Power Producers in Malaysia). – Bernama


This surprise appointment came after five weeks of Malaysia Airlines been under the ‘control’ of an Executive Committee which comprises Chairman Tan Sri Mohd. Nor Yusof, Executive Director Mohamed Rashdan Mohd. Yusof, Dato’ Mohamed Azman Yahya and the two personalities from AirAsia which resulted from the ‘Malaysia Airlines – AirAsia highly ‘irregular’ share swap’ announced on 9 August, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Dato’ Kamaruddin Meranun.

And yet, it has been informed that the wheels are in motion for the GLC’s different stewardship direction.

Sources within revealed that Fernandes is not happy with Khazanah Holdings Bhd’s appointment of veteran GLC executive Jauhari to Malaysia Airlines’ top job. This is despite getting a very good deal in the what many see as a lopsided ‘share swap’ and ‘collaboration; where benefits for Malaysia Airlines have yet to be demonstrated. Not satisfied of getting Malaysia Airlines to cough out RM 18 million for  ‘away games’  sponsorship in record time for his own personal venture in English Premier League Queen’s Park Rangers, Fernandes is said to want more.

Air Asia X CEO Azran Osman Rani

He wanted AirAsia X’s CEO Azran Osman Rani to head the national carrier.

Whether this could be done or not (the fact that Jauhari’s been appointed) is not a material fact in this picture and schematic of things for Fernandes. Most likely the game is to inch Azran in and slowly shove Jauhari aside. Of course in between, there is the usual ‘drama’ when it involves the Air Asia CEO (just like the “threat to move AirAsia HQ to Jakarta” first surfaced in Malaysian media in May). Showmanship is a trait probably he learned well in his days as a record company executive,

Fernandes is synonymous with doing way beyond convention and accepted best practices is his business attitude and mannerism. In 2005, he managed to bulldoze his agenda incorporated in the ‘Airline Rationalisation Plan’ where Malaysia Airlines was made to surrender prized domestic routes and heavily subsidies rural air services (RAS for Sabah and Sarawak) in 2006 to AirAsia (using the brand FlyAsiaExpress). Malaysia Airlines was also prohibited to sell their fares below certain floor rates or flexible schemes, which was seen as the key success factor for AirAsia’s acceptance in the market. He also managed to build the numbers from the subsidised RAS routes, which saw the international confidence on the new-kid-on-the-block.

In 2005, he managed to convince then PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to build the existing low cost carrier terminal against the position of Malaysia Airports. It was built in record time (within 10 months of construction of 360,000 sq. ft. airport terminal building), even though there was never any provision in the airport complex. Fernandes argued against the use of KLIA main terminal building and his adamant not to use the aerobridge.

Fernandes also has been trying to bite more than he could chew. Almost three years ago, he attracted a lot of attention when he tried to use Sime Darby to develop a purpose built low cost carrier airport in Labu.

Of course, he denied the immense benefit he obtained during PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Abdullah’s tenure, along his relationship with Khairy Jamaluddin and Kalimullah “Riong Kali” Hassan. Riong Kali was the first AirAsia X Chairman.

After able to convince Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak via Khazanah and coupled with CIMB’s role as the share-swap adviser, to let go 20.5% of Malaysia Airlines for only 10% of AirAsia’s holdings, sources within talked about the proposal of Tune Air Group talking over Malaysia Airports Holdingd Bhd. This is not withstanding the fact that when Khazanah Holdings Bhd. MD Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar sat down with Fernandes for the first time, AirAsia owed Malaysia Airports over RM 100 million in airport tax even though the sum was already aggregated from the passengers, up front.

It is not a big mystery why it is pertinent that the CEO of Malaysia Airlines is someone who will pander to Fernandes’s whims and fancy. For the Tune Air group of low cost airlines to move into the next level, they would want to graduate from the low cost carrier league and be a major player in the intercontinental and wide body airlines sector. Malaysia Airlines currently flies to 90 international destinations over six continents. Some of Malaysia Airlines prized routes include to London Heathrow , Tokyo Narita, King Abdul Aziz Jeddah, Paris Charles De Gaulle  and Dubaii

The ability to have competitive operating cost for a premium airlines with Malaysia Airlines’ internationally renowned and impeccable service record and awards and existing lucrative market is where the real beef is. Having two seats in the BOD and 20.5% holdings simply is not enough for some people.

Published in: on October 17, 2011 at 21:32  Comments (10)