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KQ CEO Sebastian Mikosz to resign before his contract runs out

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Kenya Airways chief executive Sebastian Mikosz is set to resign before he serves the entire length of his three year contract.

In a memo sent to staff, the chief executive said that he has opted to resign five months earlier due to personal reasons.

“I have made the decision to shorten my contract term and I have decided to resign on personal grounds effective Dec. 31,” Mikosz said in the letter seen by Business Today ” 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,”

The airline boss says he has informed the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of his decision as required by the law.

Mikosz was tapped by KQ’s board in June 2017 to pull out the loss making national carrier from the negative territory.

When he announced the company’s results for the full year ended December 31, 2018 on April 30, Mikosz was at pains to explain why the airline had sunk into a Ksh7.5 billion loss despite being tipped to restore the airline back to its former financial stability during the earlier stages of his contract.

Earlier this week, reports revealing that Mikosz earned Ksh62.8 million last year despite the humongous loss that the company incurred drew the public’s furore with the public questioning why the expatriate was earning that much while the company is still on its knees.

In March, operations at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) were brought to a standstill when the Kenya Aviation Workers Union (KAWU) mobilised its members protesting hefty salaries that Mikosz and five other executives that the airline boss  hired in 2017 were taking home.

{Read: For KQ, New York route is a necessary loss making venture}

KAWU alleged that 21 senior executives at the airline including Mikosz, board chairperson Micheal Joseph and the five polish executives earn an average of Ksh70.5 million monthly which translates to a total of Ksh1.3 billion in five months.

Mikosz denied the claims saying they are not factual.

During the announcement of the 2018 financial results, Mikosz was also taken to task over the poor performance of the much hyped New York route which is a loss making venture.

The Polish national defended the airline’s decision to adopt the route saying that it had significant network value.

{See also: Meet Sebastian Mikosz, the new KQ CEO who speaks 4 languages}

“What we do is that we weigh how much value a route offers us in terms of business or in terms of network. In the case of New York route we are confident that it will prove to be a useful coup in the end,” said Mikosz.

The former CEO of LOT Polish Airlines has also had it rough over the airline’s proposal to take over running of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), a process which has been blocked by MPs.

Mikosz however defended the proposal saying it is in the best interests of all parties lamenting that the issue has been politicised.

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