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)  

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. well until and unless we have good governance and transparency in our decision on national matters/interest , we will have all this hapenning again and again…janganlah jadi pisang berbuat dua kali di MAS…..

    • pisang dah berbuah berkali kali kat MAS dan org “tertentu” dah habis makan pisan tu ngan tandan nye sekali.

  2. I used to admire TF… when he speaks, I will listen. I read articles about his success story & admire him more. Now whenever I see him.. I couldn’t help but think about a big fat snake.

    Turn out, his success story is not a real success story.. Pretty unethical too since he made sure (via Flip Flop PM) MAS cannot lower their fare, took the RAS (then return back), don’t pay airport tax (after taken money from customers way in advance).

    • One one word comes to mind when describing ppl like this; GREED!

      Remember Gordon Gekko’s immortal speech “Greed is good!”???

  3. The trouble with some Malays in the position of power and influence is that they easily trust smooth talkers and because of that made bad or lopsided decisions. They praise and angkat these jokers and at the same time kicked out the best Malay corporate minds such as the gormer CEO of Petronas. Then they go a step further by calling some Malays as rent seekers. If these people want to be such brazen political populusts , be prepared to lose their popularity among people who hsve supported them all this time. By the way, if TF isn’t happy so be it and somebody must tell it to his face to fly kites.

  4. In English football, I support Chelsea and through my observation, the character of a person can be gleaned through what English team he or she supports. Arsenal fans, by and large, are principled, prudent with money and are not flash. Liverpool fans are open-minded and go for substance rather than form. Chelsea supporters, well, you tell me. As for Man United supporters, as TF is, well, they are a bit arrogant and think they are smarter than most people. In fact, the opposite is true.

  5. Well done Malaysians esp. MAS employees. It is a very healthy debate and A-I-D-A indeed. All these discussion are creating a lot of AWARENESS among the public, generate deep INTEREST, develop DESIRE to do something and finally ACT in our own little and big way to resolve these SIMPLE(if all of us put our mind and heart into it) issues

    For a start, allow me to share the following article:


    It was reported in Utusan Malaysia on 4 October 2011 by MASEU that ”Masalah pertukaran kepimpinan menjadi masalah utama dalam MAS. Pertukaran Pengarah Urusan MAS setiap tiga tahun umpama menguji kebolehan individu yang dilantik.
    ”Apabila pelantikan dibuat, pengarah urusan yang baharu mempunyai wawasan sendiri, lantas membawa masuk 30 hingga 40 orang mereka tetapi ditinggalkan di MAS apabila beliau tidak lagi berkhidmat dengan syarikat penerbangan itu.
    ”Malangnya orang luar yang dibawa masuk inilah yang akhirnya merosakkan MAS sebenarnya,” katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

    Ditanya mengapa Maseu tidak mahu memberikan peluang kerjasama dijayakan dahulu, Alias berkata: ”Cukup-cukuplah jadikan MAS sebagai bahan percubaan kerana yang jadi mangsa adalah kakitangan MAS”. Beliau berkata, terlampau banyak perkara yang berlaku akibat kesilapan pengurusan menyebabkan aset-aset dan perniagaan MAS tergadai.”

    MASEU also said “This is not the way to revitalise MAS. We should straighten out our own affairs starting with the decision makers”

    MASEU is right. These problems were not new. Despite the many alarms that have been triggered as early as in 2001, the many symptoms we have experienced and the many clues we have stumbled upon, the decision makers failed to probe and act accordingly.

    To be continued in our new Blog “ MAS PROFESSIONALS”

  6. Buatlah ape-apenya MAS tak akan sampai ke mana-mana melihat dari cara apa yang berlaku sekarang. kalau anak syarikat-syarikatnya yang untuk habis difaraidkan kepada sukusakat dan laluan yang untung dipindahkan kepada sweettalker..mampoi la. Syarikat kerajaan macam lembu betinalah diperah susunya – buat butter, buat minyak sapi, buat cheese …..yang untung orang yang berniaga minyak sapi, berniaga butter dan berniaga cheese. Lembu tu duk macam tu sala le. Nak sembelih tak bolehnanti tak ada pula susunya…

  7. AirAia X Osman is another non fit executive with an economics degree. Where as Tony Fernandes was a record royalties accountant. Ahmad Jauhari is an electrical engineer. Where is their intellectual fit into Airlines when they do not have knowledge in Airlines, They only know cost and cutting cost and NO Strategy or Growth, Tony got Ryan Air to help out and took all the glory with sleek marketing. Osman claims falsely that AAX has the lowest cost of any airline in the world and boasts this at every interview. I wonder if Osman knows the calculation is right. Recently, Cogan Air working with Continental Airlines caused a lot of safety concerns when costs are driven down. AAX and AA watch out about SAFETY CONCERNS. MAS appointment of Idris Jala was another accountant who starved MAS with NO new Aircraft with lower costs and NO strategy. Firefly CEO Eddie Leong is another accountant. IT IS A FACT THAT ACCOUNTANTS ARE NOT GOOD BUSINESS MAN. Eddie Leong should head MAS but he is Chinese and not a Malay. Tony is a marketing man – he has the Malays holding out for him whilst Tony spends his cash on Caterham F1 and QPR the smallest Club in the Premier League.Eight years ago Tony was a nobody – today he is in the Forbes List (how does he get so rich so fact) MAS should forget its Malay mentality and employ a foreign CEO, who has the track record in aviation.Tony has engineered a back door merger to take control of MAS.Firefly was 100$ full on the same jet routes to East Malaysia whilst AA was only 60% and loosing money. Eddy Leong’s success was canned by Tony and his jet routes pulled out. Firefly beat AA. That is competition. Tony was losing at his own back garden he help create – low cost travel. I predict MAS will loose more money in 2012 when oil prices cripple the load factor. I am travelling Saudia Airline to London at RM2,200 with full service and 30kg baggage on 04 Decvemebr 2011. MAS was RM4800 and AAX was RM4500. BLAH – U can guess it. The Mid East Airlines will WIPE off AAX and MAS Competition for origination passengers from KLIA. MAS and AAX are ONLY serving the OZ and NZ Market at the moment BUT Emirates is aggressive with its super Jumbo A380. Non Stop Dubai to Sydney, Melbourne and Pert and Auckland at lower costs and quicker journey times. MAS and AA your demise could be at 2014

  8. Horah!! Another Accountant appointed by MAS today 23 November in charge of FireFly and ousting Eddy Leong. Ignatius Ong Ming Choy studied at Middlesex University (one of the lowest ranked UK Unis) in finance and accounting. Ong did not study any subjects concerning how to operate and airline!!!!! Not even an MBA!!!! MAS is appointing “boy scouts” to jobs that require absolute intelligence and technical acumen to run a community airline. Firefly cannot contain its cost operations with ATR 500 aircrafts but also require jets like the A319 or Embrarer. Firefly routes have no revenue growth potential with increasing cost pressures from increased fuel costs and operating costs. Ong was a route commercial manager at MAS for seven years. But, Did Ong gain specific experience or management development of running an airline. I beg to differ. MAS conceded to AA of the threat Firefly posed on local jet routes. I monitored price and load factor on many routes and Firefly can top. Firefly will loose money and be a drag on MAS profits because Firefly does not have the economies of scale to factor lower costs and its Fokker and ATR500 are not efficient planes to run today. MAS idea of community airline is flawed and I have never seen a case study even at Harvard concerning community airlines. Firefly should be SOLD as part of MAS restructuring program and allow FireFly to compete with MAS and AA. Malaysia requires competition and Malaysia has yet to have a competition regulator that allow MAS and AA to monopolise air travel. In my opinion ALL routes operated by MAS and AA are expensive in the ASEAN region because there is not real competition on these routes. Travel to Bangkok on a 2 hour flight is more expensive than a comparable 2 hour flight in Australia, Europe, USA and Russia. We Malaysians want competition and not “pander” to MAS or AA poor management ability. I look forward to reading MAS’s TurnAround Plan – God forbid is will be written by Accountants with NO knowledge about Growth Strategy or Technical Expertise. My prediction is it will be CUT CUT CUT as the old dog in accountancy will recite once again. For MAS’s sake I am proven wrong.

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