Kenya Airports Authority CEO John Andersen has announced he is leaving the role nearly three months before his contract was to expire citing personal reasons.
“I would like to take this opportunity to inform you that I have taken the decision not to pursue the decision of renewal my contract with KAA. This is after deep reflection and consolation with my family,” he said in a memo to staff.
He has subsequently chosen to proceed on leave on September 30. Andersen joined KAA in July 2016 from Avinor AS in Norway. His first term contract was to end on November 21 this year.
“I will be proceeding on leave on September 30, with my tenure ending on November 21, 2019. I will take fond memories of the authority, colleagues, and the incredible journey with me in my heart,” he said.
In a statement, KAA said Andersen had opted out of his contract but hastened to add that during his tenure he brought a good knowledge of the industry and the ability to forge consensus amongst stakeholders.
” Andersen brought a good knowledge of the industry and the ability to forge consensus amongst stakeholders. Jonny’s tenure, we built a strong foundation for future growth, including strengthening our management team, improving our operations and enhancing customer service,” it added.
Chairman Issac Awuondo said Andersen served with distinction and wished him well in his future endevours.
“Over the three years that Jonny has been at the helm of the authority he has strengthened airport operations and overseen a period of growth in passenger numbers and the number of airlines flying to Kenya,” he said.
The process of recruiting a a new CEO has already commenced. Andersen’s move comes just over three months since Kenya Airways CEO Sebastian Mikosz, also an expatriate, announced he will quit effective December 31 also for personal reasons.
“I have made the decision to shorten my contract term and I have decided to resign on personal grounds effective Dec. 31. It is my personal decision and I have discussed it with the board and my family. I believe that this is the ideal timing to begin the transition process to find someone who will continue with the turnaround initiatives we began three years ago,” he told staff in a memo at the time.
Mikosz was tapped by KQ’s board in June 2017 to pull out the loss making national carrier from the negative territory.
However, he has been unable to turn things around with the airline recording a ksh7.5 billion loss in the year ended December 31, 2018.
This week, the national carrier reported a Ksh 8.6 billion loss for the six months to June 30 compared to Ksh 4 billion loss recorded in a similar period last year.
The aviation sector in the country has been going through turbulent times with MPs scuttling a proposal by KQ to be allowed to manage the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) to enable it compete with rivals such as Ethiopian Airlines, which is subsidised by government. MPs instead proposed that the airline be nationalised.