November last year, we announced that the Group Managing Director and CEO Mbuvi Ngunze would step down in the first quarter of 2017 after over five years with the airline, the last two at the helm. We asked Mbuvi to stay on until a successor was identified and also to drive the complex capital optimisation program that we are undertaking.
In December 2016, the Board engaged the services of an international search firm, Spencer Stuart to assist the Board in identifying a successor to Mbuvi as Group Managing Director and CEO. I am pleased to announce the Board has finally reached a unanimous decision in this matter.
As such, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Sebastian Mikosz to the role of Group Managing Director & CEO with effect from 1st June 2017. Sebastian Mikosz has over 20 years of professional experience in executive management both in the private and public sector. He has also held various non-executive roles as Supervisory Board member. He has been CEO of eSky.pl, the leading Central European Online Travel Agent, President and Chief Executive Officer of LOT Polish Airlines, one of the oldest airlines in the world – a position he held twice including an in depth turnaround of the company leading to it first positive results in many years. He has also held the position of Director in Deloitte Business Consulting Warsaw Office and Vice-President of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ) a governmental agency responsible for attracting foreign investors to Poland.
Sebastian started his career in 1997 with Arthur Andersen office in Paris and later became the Managing Director of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Poland (CCIFP). Sebastian is 44 and is a graduate of the Institute of Political Studies (IEP Paris) in France with a Master’s degree in Economics and Finance. He is bilingual in French and fluent speaker of English and Russian in addition to his native Polish. He is married to Magdalena Burnat-Mikosz and has three sons.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Kenya Airways and management, I wish to take this opportunity to offer Sebastian our most sincere congratulations on this appointment and confirm our full support to him as he takes over as Group Managing Director and CEO. We wish him every success as he assumes his new responsibilities. We have no doubt that under his leadership and guidance the airline, with the support of management and the Board will strive to greater heights and achievements as well as continue to regain its altitude as the “Pride of Africa”.
I wish to take this opportunity to offer Mbuvi Ngunze our most sincere appreciation for his dedicated contribution, support and service over the last five years. Mbuvi has led KQ during an extremely challenging period, but nonetheless brought his unique leadership skills to bear, ensuring that the airline stayed afloat, leading from the front in negotiations with financiers and critical partners, and launching the turnaround which has achieved key milestones, and whose results we are now seeing. Mbuvi will stay on beyond June as advisor to the company until the Capital Optimisation plan is completed which we expect will be done by end of July at the latest.