Air NZ has hired Kiwi-born Walmart US boss Greg Foran as its new chief executive officer.
Mr Foran will join the dual-listed airline in the first quarter of 2020, following the resignation of former head honcho Christopher Luxon in June.
Mr Foran, who grew up in Hastings and Hamilton, is currently president and chief executive officer of the Walmart US retail conglomerate, where he is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the company’s 4,600 stores and more than one million staff.
Before joining Walmart, Mr Foran held a number of positions with Woolworths in Australia and NZ.
“I am an incredibly proud Kiwi and to be given the job of nurturing and building on the legacy of an iconic company that represents the best of our nation at home and around the world really excites me,” Mr Foran said on Friday.
The hire comes after Mr Luxon stepped down after seven years in charge to take a tilt at politics.
He is believed to be nominating as a NZ National Party candidate for the seat of Botany.
Mr Foran will join Air NZ as the airline seeks to cut costs after a tough year.
The company’s full year earnings to June 30 were 31 per cent lower on a year ago thanks to an expanding fuel bill and weakness in inbound tourism and domestic leisure demand.
Problems with Rolls-Royce engines have also plagued Air NZ’s fleet of Boeing aircraft.
The company launched a two-year cost reduction plan in March to save $NZ750 million by deferring aircraft deliveries, and in August announced it aimed to cut costs by an additional $NZ60 million by the end of 2021.
Air NZ’s ASX-listed shares were worth $2.66 before trade on Friday, down 14.7 per cent from an 18-month peak of $3.12 in January.