Greg Foran to lead Air New Zealand in 2020
Air New Zealand has announced Greg Foran will take over as the next chief executive and will start in the first quarter of 2020.
New Zealand born Greg Foran is currently the president and chief executive of Walmart’s US department. During Foran’s tenure Walmart has earned the highest annual revenue of any global company. Previously Foran held a position with Woolworths in Australia and New Zealand.
Former chief executive of the Aviation Industry Association, Irene King praised the appointment of Foran.
"It's a wonderful appointment, an amazing appointment. They really have scoured for great talent around the globe. With his experience of having to restructure in a really, really tough environment, he will understand which levers to pull very quickly."
Air New Zealand reported net profits of $270mn during 2018, a decrease from $390mn in the year before. The new leadership will give the airline access to experience trading in foreign markets on a large scale.
Speaking of the changes ahead King said, "Greg has experience not only within the US market. Walmart also operates in a large number of other markets into which Air New Zealand may be seeking growth opportunities. In particular, Latin America and India.”
"There will initially be some question marks regarding Greg's lack of airline experience, which is a departure from previous appointments. Although CEOs generally have a very transferable skillset, it will still be a steep learning curve and reliant on having a good team of other senior management supporting him.
House of Travel’s director Brent Thomas agreed with the move, citing Foran’s wealth of commercial experience as a major strength. We've obviously got a good working relationship with New Zealand and look forward to seeing that continue. "We've obviously got a good working relationship with New Zealand and look forward to seeing that continue."
Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek
Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.
Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.
Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.
Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.
As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.
It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.
But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.
As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.
So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.