Leadership change could be good for MAHB

Raja Azmi’s resignation could temporarily position MAHB in a better light given Mohd Shukrie’s experience in the aviation industry, says Adam


THE changes in leadership at Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) could be a boon for the airport operator’s internal operations and business strategies, said experts.

The appointment of Datuk Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh as acting group CEO following Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin’s resignation could temporarily position MAHB in a better light given Mohd Shukrie’s experience in the aviation industry, MIDF Amanah Investment Bank Bhd analyst Adam Mohamed Rahim said.

“Recall that prior to MAHB, Mohd Shukrie used to lead AirAsia Group Bhd’s logistics arms, Redbox, for about a year before being appointed as COO of AirAsia in early 2019.

“We believe Mohd Shukrie’s experience during his stint at the airline would be beneficial for MAHB to better understand the needs of not just AirAsia, but also other airlines flying to Malaysia,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.

Mohd Shukrie’s experience in a senior position with KL Airport Services Sdn Bhd, the aircraft ground handling, cargo and logistics arm of DRB-Hicom Bhd, would provide a deeper understanding of MAHB’s internal operations, Adam added.

MAHB announced on Monday that Raja Azmi decided to leave the group to pursue other opportunities, just over a year after he assumed the post on Jan 4, 2019.

The airport operator said Mohd Shukrie will fill the post as acting group CEO immediately, while “undertaking the proper process to identify and appoint a suitable successor”.

However, the management change could spark speculation if it’s not addressed properly, said Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute Centre of Public Policy Studies chairman Tan Sri Dr Ramon V Navaratnam.

“There should be some discretion and the people must be given an avenue to ask, so there would not be speculation on the justification.

“People sometimes think it’s an abuse of power or that some quarters are being treated unfairly. Thus, this matter has to be clearly addressed,” Ramon said.

Mohd Shukrie, 46, holds a degree in business studies from the University of North London and is a chartered accountant.

Apart from serving with AirAsia, Mohd Shukrie has served as Pos Malaysia Bhd group CEO, Konsortium Logistik Bhd group CEO and in several leadership roles during his time in various companies within the DRB-Hicom group.

At a press conference yesterday, Transport Minister Anthony Loke said there was no government interference in the matter. He did not elaborate further on Raja Azmi’s departure.

Shares of MAHB plunged 30 sen or 4% to RM7.26 at market close yesterday on news of the management change, valuing the group at RM12.05 billion.