• Alexandria Marren will join the company as Chief Operating Officer
  • Mike Williams will take on the newly created role of Chief Transformation & Alliances Officer

Air New Zealand has made two appointments to its executive team to lead its operations and transformation activity as the airline prepares for the recovery of air travel.

Alexandria (Alex) Marren is expected to join the airline in late March as Chief Operating Officer, following a 36-year career in senior operations, customer, cabin crew and airport leadership roles at United Airlines and Hertz Corporation. Alex is currently the President of ABM Aviation in Atlanta, USA, where she has been leading a team of over 11,000 to help airlines at airports across the US, UK, Ireland and the Middle East navigate through the Covid pandemic.

Alex’s extensive operations experience has ranged from responsibility for ground operations at 46 airports with oversight of 3,500 flights per day to 260 cities, to leadership of 23,000 staff at Hertz’s North American rental car operation. Alex replaces Air New Zealand’s current COO Carrie Hurihanganui, who will take on the Chief Executive role at Auckland International Airport Limited in February.

Alex Marren holds a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Liberal Arts and American History from Harvard College and has completed the Advanced Education Programme at The Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management.

From 1 February 2022, Mike Williams will take on the new role of Chief Transformation and Alliances Officer, which will lead delivery of the airline’s strategy and be responsible for its alliance partner relationships.

Mike has been with Air New Zealand since 2016 in senior commercial and strategy roles and is currently Group General Manager Commercial, Alliances and Strategy. Before joining the airline, Mike worked with the Boston Consulting Group in Australia, Finland and the US working with clients in the aviation, technology and retail sectors. He holds a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and a Bachelor of Business Management from RMIT University, Melbourne.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says both appointments further equip the airline’s executive team with the skills and experience to help the airline emerge strongly from the pandemic and deliver improved results for customers and shareholders.

"Alex will bring firsthand experience of operations at scale in highly competitive markets across North America. She has a track record of delivering operational performance and results that delight customers and staff, and we look forward to welcoming her to Air New Zealand.

“Mike is one of our most talented senior leaders, has a deep understanding of our business and the sector, supported by a sharp strategic ability that served Air New Zealand well as it established key alliance partnerships. Having helped develop, and more recently led the review of, our Kia Mau (Get Ready) strategy, Mike will lead the transformation programme to look at our ways of working to support the delivery of our strategy.”

Prior to Alex’s arrival, the responsibilities of the Chief Operating Officer will be undertaken by members of the executive team.

“I want to share a huge thank you to Carrie who has shown such exceptional leadership over more than 20 years with the airline. It really is a win for Auckland International Airport, and we wish her all the best in her new role.”