Kenya Airways chief executive Sebastian Mikosz gestures during a past event. The airline has marked one year since the inaugural direct flight to the US

Kenya Airways today announced the appointment of Sebastian Mikosz as group Managing Director and CEO effective 1st June 2017.

Milkosz takes over from Mr Mbuvi Ngunze, who resigned in November 2016 after a turbulent two-year stint of historic loss making at the helm of the airline.

Sebastian Mikosz, a Polish national, has over 20 years of professional experience in executive management both in the private and public sector, according to a press release signed by Kenya Airways Board chairman, Michael Joseph.

Mikosz, 44, has also held various non-executive roles as Supervisory Board member. He has been CEO of eSky.pl, the leading Central European Online Travel Agent, President and Chief Executive Officer of LOT Polish Airlines, one of the oldest airlines in the world, a position he held twice including an in-depth turnaround of the company leading to it first positive results in many years.

He has also held the position of Director in Deloitte Business Consulting Warsaw Office and Vice-President of the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ) a governmental agency responsible for attracting foreign investors to Poland.

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Mr Mbuvi had announced that he would step down in the first quarter of 2017, but Kenya Airways asked him to stay until a successor was identified. In December 2016, the Board engaged the services of an international search firm, Spencer Stuart to assist the Board in identifying a successor to Mbuvi as Group Managing Director and CEO.

The airline recorded the largest ever loss by a Kenyan company in 2015.

Strong career record

Sebastian started his career in 1997 with Arthur Andersen office in Paris and later became the Managing Director of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Poland (CCIFP). Sebastian is a graduate of the Institute of Political Studies (IEP Paris) in France with a Master’s degree in Economics and Finance.

He is bilingual in French and fluent speaker of English and Russian in addition to his native Polish. He is married to Magdalena Burnat-Mikosz and has three sons.

Regaining KQ’s altitude

“On behalf of the Board of Directors of Kenya Airways and management, I wish to take this opportunity to offer Sebastian our most sincere congratulations on this appointment and confirm our full support to him as he takes over as Group Managing Director and CEO,” said Mr Joseph, the former Safaricom CEO.

“We wish him every success as he assumes his new responsibilities. We have no doubt that under his leadership and guidance the airline, with the support of management and the Board will strive to greater heights and achievements as well as continue to regain its altitude as the Pride of Africa’.”

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Mr Joseph said that despite the challenging times, Mr Ngunze brought in unique leadership skills to bear, ensuring that the airline stayed afloat. He noted that Mr Ngunze, a KQ insider, had led negotiations with financiers and critical partners, and launched the turnaround “which has achieved key milestones, and whose results we are now seeing.”

Mr Mbuvi will stay on beyond June as advisor to the company until the Capital Optimisation plan is completed by end of July at the latest.
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