Now SAA CEO quits
THE South African Airways hit turbulence once again when the parastatal's chief executive, Siza Mzimela, emulated her board chairwoman Cheryl Carolus by abruptly tendering her resignation after only three years at the helm.
Two other executives, Theunis Potgieter and Sandra Coetzee, have also left.
Mzimela yesterday sent a 1,000-word e-mail titled: "Winds (maybe Wings) of change", to the company's employees informing them of her resignation.
"It is with a mix of sadness, relief and a measure of pride that I announce my resignation from the airline today," Mzimela wrote.
"This is not a random move. I have given this decision careful thought and feel that now is the best time to relinquish my position as your CEO and allow somebody else to pilot the company into the future."
Public Enterprises spokesman Mayihlome Tshwete said Minister Malusi Gigaba had accepted Mzimela's resignation.
"We appreciate Mzimela's cooperation in not resigning with immediate effect but remaining in the organisation until a new CEO is found," Tshwete said.
In the e-mail Mzimela wrote: "I leave with some sadness because I have thoroughly enjoyed being a member of the SAA family for almost three years - and will therefore miss the company and all of you."
She listed the 2011-15 Corporate Plan, the 10-year fleet and network plan, the setting up of a project management office and the discarding of unprofitable routes as some of SAA achievements during her tenure.
"Much more remains to be done, including improving network efficiency further, building on the strength of Johannesburg as an international hub and focusing even more on the African market - an area of great potential where SAA exercises competitive advantage. Similarly, I owe a debt of gratitude to the outgoing board, of which I was a member, for their wise counsel and support.
"To that end, I understood and identified with the sentiments that some of them expressed towards the end of their mission. But as an executive director I felt that it was my obligation to staff and the company that I remain behind until our forthcoming AGM, where a new board is to be appointed," she said.
Her resignation follows that of eight board members, including the chairman.
Business Day reported on Monday that SAA will post an annual loss of R1.25-billion.