Vuyani Jarana appointed CEO of South African Airways
South Africa’s National Treasury has confirmed the appointment of Vuyani Jarana as the Chief Executive Officer of the state owned carrier South African Airways. Mr. Jarana has been in charge of Vodacom Business Africa and will now take over a seat that has had no permanent holder since November 2015.
Jarana will take the helm at South African Airways when Vodacom releases him of his duties, the Treasury said in an emailed statement on Thursday.
The airline has been bleeding since 2011 and was handed a bailout package last month with a ‘strict’ turnaround strategy. The new appointment is also part of the said bailout.
“Jarana has turned around a loss-making subsidiary of the Vodacom Group, Vodacom Business Africa, into profitable and growth business, we believe he will be key in turning around SAA”. Gigaba said Jarana had positioned Vodacom Business as a growth engine of the Vodacom group, growing its contribution to group service revenues from less than 10% to 25% over three years. He had also transformed the declining Vodacom subsidiary Stortech to growth.
“He built a solid and transformed organisation with emphasis on both top-line business growth as well as margin expansion,” the Treasury statement said.
The national airline is one of several key state companies, and agencies that are in disarray as a high turnover of senior management hobbles their ability to take decisions, and massive losses threaten their financial viability. SAA will brief lawmakers in Cape Town on Friday on its quarterly report.
Jarana was previously the chief operating officer of the Johannesburg-based wireless carrier and has been the head of its enterprise division since 2012. Musa Zwane, SAA’s chief technical officer, has been the airline’s interim leader and is the seventh permanent or acting CEO since 2010.
Vodacom is the market leader in South Africa with 37 million subscribers in the country. It is 65 percent owned by Vodafone Group Plc and has customers in Tanzania, Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo.