Mango, a low-cost airline owned by SAA, recently announced the appointment of Marelize Labuschange as the new acting chief executive. Ms. Labuschange, who was previously the company’s chief financial officer, is the second acting chief executive to be appointed since permanent chief executive, Nico Bezuidenhout, left to take a position at Fastjet, in the winter of 2016. Nico Vlok, the previous head of operations, was the first acting chief executive, but Mr. Vlok retired at the beginning of November of this year.
Ms. Labuschange, on being appointed to replace Mr. Vlok, said she had some big shoes to fill.“It is an absolute honour to fill this role.”
Other Notable Appointments
Other recent appointments include Noelan Rungasamy, as general manager of operations, Graham Ross, as head of the department for fleet and technical, and Cindy Ross, as head of the department of employee relations.
All of these appointments are effective immediately, according to a statement by the company, and efforts to find a permanent chief executive officer continue.
According to a Business Report article, Mango Airlines had paid R1 million to the recruitment company, Talent Africa, to find a suitable replacement for Mr. Bezuidenhout, and a promising candidate had been identified from among a shortlist of seven. However, consideration of the candidate was suspended after Ms. Labuschange identified problems with the hiring process and other difficulties within the company. The article alleges that she offered to resign, citing tensions between her and Mr. Vlok as one cause of certain problems at Mango. If she made such an offer, it was obviously declined, given her new status as acting chief executive. The company does not confirm or deny the story.
An Indication of Good Things to Come?
If internal tensions were contributing to difficulties at Mango, Ms. Labuschange’s appointment may indicate that such tensions have been resolved and that whatever problems may have existed within the hiring process are being addressed as the company continues to search for a new permanent chief executive.
About Mango Airlines
Mango Airlines first opened for business in 2006, and made a name for themselves through innovative business practices. They were the first carrier to sell flights through a mobile app and through the grocer, Shoprite Checkers, and they are still the only airline to accept payment through store charge cards. The company has had the best on-time performance of any carrier in South Africa for the past six years, as well as maintaining the lowest cost base domestically. Flights aboard their fleet of new-generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft remain consistently affordable. The company places a high value on innovation and on striving to continually improve in both operational efficiency and guest service.
The recent high-level personnel changes at the company suggest that Mango may be starting a new chapter in its corporate history. The company hopes this new chapter will again be one of success.