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Kenya: KQ Chief Operating Officer Jan de Vegt exits

The Kenya Airways Chief Operating Officer Jan de Vegt has exited the airline.

In a statement issued over the weekend, the former COO cited lack of support from the airline as reason for his departure.

“Kenya Airways decided to stop all support by KLM. For this reason, I am returning to Amsterdam… as there will be no COO in KQ from now on, I will close this account. Until we meet again,” read the tweet which marked his abrupt departure from the airline.

These tweets were later deleted but not before an about turn by Vegt assuring that the venture between Kenya Airways and Dutch partner KLM, was still in place.

Vegt was appointed as COO on August 1, 2016, taking over from Yves Guibert who left in July 2016.

His exit comes two months after current Chief Executive Officer Sebastian Miksoz, announced he would be stepping down at the end of the year.

Kenya Airways however said that it did away with the position following the expiry of Vegts contract.

According to Kenya Airways Chief Human Resource Manager Evelyne Munyoki, the airline has been undergoing a restructuring.

“…And as part of the initiatives the company took a strategic decision to delayer the COO area to enhance operational efficiency, agility in decision making and additional visibility of key issues in our business operations,” said Munyoki.

The COO role was split into two areas; technical and operations divisions, now headed by Kenyan’s Evans Kihara and Paul Njoroge in their respective positions as division directors.

Kenya Airways also confirmed that it had hired 18 expatriates from Europe to help in the transformation exercise.

The changes at Kenya Airways come hot on heels of a recommendation by a parliamentary committee to nationalise the airline.

The committee came up with the decision as it was assessing the viability of a proposed plan for the airline to take over the operations of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA).


By: Dennis Otieno


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