Malaysia Airlines to get its man
January 2, 2002 Posted: 3:54 PM HKT (0754 GMT)
By Alex Frew McMillan
CNN Hong Kong
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has reportedly picked the man to turn around the country's flagging airline.
Mahathir has tapped his top economic reformer, Nor Mohamed Yackop, to revamp Malaysian Airline System Bhd., according to The Wall Street Journal.
Mahathir told the MAS board that he had found the man for the job at a meeting in mid-December, the newspaper states, though the choice has yet to be made public.
MAS, parent of Malaysia Airlines, is struggling under a debt load of 9.2 billion ringgit ($2.4 billion).
That has been compounded by the aftermath of September 11, a slowdown in tourism due to the economy and concern about tourist safety in Malaysia, Asia's second-largest Muslim country.
Nor Mohamed is expected to sell off some MAS assets, as well as slash jobs. Insiders say attempts at turning the airline around have gotten bogged down due to internal squabbling among directors and executives.