By: Kelvin Chiringa
Acting Executive Head of Air Namibia, Mandi Samson has ditched the financially overwhelmed company after a four-year tenure.
An official communication from Air Namibia announced that Samson tendered her resignation in order to pursue other opportunities, with effect from 15 March 2019.
“As the Board of Directors bids farewell to Adv. Samson, we would like to thank her for her tireless efforts, commitment and dedication in caretaking Namibia’s national carrier. We wish Adv. Samson all the best in her next chapter and future endeavours.”
“The process to recruit a substantive CEO for Air Namibia has commenced and the board is tackling this task as one of their critical priorities in the short-term. We recognize that safety, stability and continuity are non-negotiable, in light of the work currently under way to lay the foundations for Air Namibia’s turnaround,” said the company.
Samson’s exit also comes in the wake of her team being grilled by the parliamentary standing committee on public accounts where they disclosed that they needed N$3 billion to turn around their fortunes.
The Air Namibia board has in the mentime decided to appoint an interim CEO at the helm of the business until a substantive CEO has been appointed.
The company also said the process to identify this interim individual has commenced and “we will announce this appointment as soon as the necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained”.
“This interim appointment will allow incumbent Post Holders to focus on fixing the core operations in their respective posts, as well as enable Exco members to prioritise their efforts to address and improve performance in critical areas such as Finance, Commercial Services and Risk/Legal (including resolving the number of litigation matters in progress).”
“The newly appointed board of independent directors has spent significant time over the past 7 weeks since induction, obtaining a comprehensive and clearer view of the status quo of Air Namibia and is making good progress in holding management accountable to delivery on operational items, as well as moving towards finalising the strategic direction of the business,” said Air Namibia.