What’s the difference between a discount retail chain and Air New Zealand? Not much, apparently, if Air New Zealand’s CEO is any indication.
I say that jokingly, but only half-jokingly, for reasons I will explain below.
But indeed, Air New Zealand has named Greg Foran as its new CEO, poaching him from his current role as head of Walmart USA.
As Air New Zealand seeks to reign in costs during a period of difficult growth, perhaps there was no better choice than recruiting from a retailer who has made a name for itself through strict pricing controls and ruthless cost cutting.
Foran is a Kiwi, born and raised on the North Island, who has been credited with 20 months of consecutive growth since taking a position as Walmart’s USA President and CEO in 2014.
Air New Chairman Therese Walsh said:
We are thrilled to have attracted a world class Kiwi back home. Greg has an impeccable track record in delivering strong commercial performance, outstanding customer focus and in building teams that can take a business to the next level.
As rising fuel prices and muted demand have hurt Air New Zealand’s profits, the question is whether Foran can pursue profitability that does not come at the (further) expense of the onboard product.
Walmart’s slogan is “Save Money Live Better”. You have to wonder, though, what employees of Air New Zealand may be thinking about the new appointment. It’s not like Foran can impose Walmart wages on employees, but keep an eye out for reductions hitting not only customers, but employees. I wish Foran all the best in is new role. He looks like a very nice guy.
image: Air New Zealand