Wrenelle Stander. Picture: SUPPLIED
Wrenelle Stander. Picture: SUPPLIED

Comair, the operator of kulula.com and British Airways in SA, has appointed Wrenelle Stander as group CEO, with immediate effect.

Stander was previously a joint CEO with Glenn Orsmond, who has been appointed CEO of Comair’s airline division. The airline division is by far Comair's largest. In the year ended June 30, 2019, it accounted for R6.7bn of the company's R7.1bn revenue. The aviation and travel group’s other business units are tourism and hospitality, training, information technology and maintenance and leasing.

The move, which the company said was part of ongoing restructuring at the aviation company, marks a departure from the joint-CEO model which was criticised by shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) on October 29.

At the AGM, shareholder Danny Tuckwood questioned the wisdom of having two CEOs, saying there were no clearly defined responsibilities for Stander and Orsmond. Tuckwood also queried how the CEOs would be incentivised.

Comair, which has a market capitalisation of R1.4bn, appointed Stander and Orsmond on July 31. They replaced former long-serving CEO Erik Venter.

“The joint-CEO structure introduced a few months back has been discontinued and these appointments should ensure better performance and efficiency in a very competitive airline industry,” Comair chair Lindsay Ralphs said.

When it announced the appointments in May 2019, Comair said Stander would be responsible for looking after the airline business of the company, while Orsmond — who was the company’s financial director between 1995 and 2013 — would look after the non-airline business and financial services.

According to Comair, Stander has served in the private, public and NGO sectors. She has held the positions of deputy CEO of the SA Civil Aviation Authority, MD of the Air Traffic and Navigation Service Company and MD of Sasol Gas, where she was credited for ensuring the completion of the Mozambique pipeline expansion project.

She previously headed Comair’s airlines division, which put her in charge of the two airline brands, kulula.com and British Airways.

Comair shares were up 1.35% to R3. The stock is down 42.31% since the beginning of 2019.

njobenis@businesslive.co.za

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