Comair Appoints Aviation Veterans as Joint CEOs

Comair Boeing 737
Boeing 737 | Comair

The Comair board has announced that aviation sector veterans Glenn Orsmond and Wrenelle Stander will take over as joint CEOs from 31 July 2019.

Stander will serve as Joint CEO: Airlines, while Orsmond will serve as Joint CEO: Non-Airline Business and Financial Services.

The announcement follows Erik Venter’s resignation last week. He leaves the company at the end of July.

Both incoming CEOs bring a wealth of experience to their roles: Wrenelle Stander is currently Executive Director of Comair’s airline division. She holds an MBA from Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom, as well as a BA (Hons) degree from the University of Cape Town. Wrenelle has held a range of executive leadership positions within the South African civil aviation industry, including: Managing Director: Air Traffic and Navigation Services Company, Deputy Chief Executive Officer: South African Civil Aviation Authority, and Chief Director: Aviation and Maritime Regulation: Sasol Gas.

Glenn Orsmond, a chartered accountant, was Comair’s Financial Director for eight years from 1995 to 2003. He too has had an illustrious career in the South African aviation industry, having held senior leadership roles including Financial Director at Sun Air, co-founding Group Financial Director, Group CEO of 1Time (and co-founder), CEO at Jetworx Aircraft Maintenance and most recently CFO at Star Air Cargo.

Board chair, Piet van Hoven, says:

“The new CEOs’ task will be to optimise our airline business performance whilst also building on the diversification strategy that has been central to the Group’s growth in stagnant market conditions.”

“The Group is less reliant on the notoriously volatile airline businesses, which are so dependent on the performance of the broader economy. These other businesses now contribute 30% of profit,” said van Hoven.

Comair’s diversified portfolio covers brands in the airline, tourism and hospitality industries, a training academy with a global customer base, as well as a business providing technology support and solutions for the tourism, travel and aviation sectors.

Comair has had joint CEO’s at the helm before. The board believes that the combined experience of nearly 60 years in the aviation industry, supported by their individual strengths will be the recipe for success to further build on Comair’s legacy of achieving 73 years’ uninterrupted operating profit.

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