Denying both government and Khazanah Nasional interference in the affairs of Malaysian Airlines, the national carrier’s CEO Peter Bellew said he is leaving the company because love for country is pulling him back to Ireland.
“So why am I leaving. Negaraku. Love for country is pulling me back to Ireland.
“I got a call from Ryanair late evening two weeks ago to be COO. It is Ireland’s greatest company. They need my help and there is a big challenge. It is a form of national service,” he said.
He admitted that on Sept 27 he said no to questions on whether he was leaving MAS for Ryanair, but: But a week later the call came and in life we can really never say never. I am looking forward to being close again to my family and friends 14 hours away in Ireland, he said.
On the local daily New Straits Times reports that Khazanah has interfered in the management of the airline, Bellew said although possibly “I drove Khazanah mad with my constant questions and wish for consensus there has been no interference.”
“People always ask me how do I cope with Government interference. There has been none for me. Zero interference,” he said.
Nevertheless, it the point is no foreign CEO seems sufficient for Malaysia Airlines, Bellew is the second in less than two years to quit after Christoph Mueller sudden exit in 2016.