Tony Fernandes to relinquish all non-AirAsia, AirAsia X board positions

The announcement is an effort to transform the group into a travel and financial platform company

by NG MIN SHEN/ pic by TMR GRAPHIC

AIRASIA Group Bhd CEO and co-founder Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes (picture) plans to relinquish his board positions except for those at AirAsia and AirAsia X Bhd.

He will also remain as the group CEO of AirAsia and airasia.com, the airline’s travel and lifestyle e-commerce platform.

In a series of tweets posted on his personal Twitter profile yesterday, Fernandes said the move was to make way for younger leaders.

“As the first step of stepping back and moving the next generation of AirAsia leaders to the forefront, I will be stepping down (from) all boards except AirAsia and AirAsia X,” he said.

The aviation tycoon’s announcement follows a leadership reshuffle undertaken by AirAsia last month in an effort to transform the group into a travel and financial platform company, while building airasia.com into a lifestyle brand.

Under the reorganisation, Fernandes was appointed as the CEO of airasia.com, with an eye to appointing a new CEO who will report to him in due course.

“For clarity, I will remain on the board of AirAsia and AirAsia X and CEO of AirAsia and CEO of airasia.com.

“(The) rest of my positions in the boards and management will go to my young amazing leaders. So so many of them. Leadership is about succession planning always giving youth a chance,” Fernandes tweeted.

In addition to being the group CEO of AirAsia, Fernandes is a non-independent ED of the low-cost carrier (LCC), and a non-independent non-ED of the airline’s long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X.

He is known for, among other things, taking over the airline in 2001 with Datuk Kamarudin Meranun and turning the company into an LCC.

According to Bloomberg data, Fernandes also sits on the boards of the Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board, private-equity firm Crescent Point Group, AAE Travel Pte Ltd, Tune Air Sdn Bhd, Tune Group Sdn Bhd, Tune Hotels Sdn Bhd, Loftus Road plc, Tune Insurance Labuan Ltd, Tune Insurance Malaysia Bhd, Tune Money Sdn Bhd, Dinato Racing Ltd, Epsom College Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Thai AirAsia Co Ltd.

He is also the chairman of RedBeat Ventures Sdn Bhd and Caterham Cars Ltd, as well as a board member of Caterham Composites Ltd and Caterham Tech (M) Sdn Bhd.

Shares of AirAsia closed 0.56% higher at RM1.80 yesterday, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM6.02 billion.

Meanwhile, AirAsia X closed unchanged at 17 sen, with a market capitalisation of RM705.19 million.