Malaysia Airlines CEO quits in the middle of his turnaround plan

Malaysia Airlines

Malaysia Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller took the company’s top job in May 2015 and he’s leaving less than half way through his three-year contract. Mueller will step down in September 2016.

After Malaysia Airlines lost two passenger plans in 2014, the company was struggling to go profitable and maintain its customer base. The disappearance of flight MH370 and the shooting down of flight MH17 allowed the company’s competitors to take marketshare.

The airline was soon pulled from the stock market and taken private by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, Khazanah Nasional.

Mueller was credited with turning around Irish carrier Aer Lingus and was hired to spearhead the recovery plan at the struggling company.

In February, Mueller said the company was on track to go profitable by 2018, although he admitted that more reforms were needed at the struggling airline.

“We have to change in some cases very, very radically the way we do our business, the way we work but also the way we work with each other,” he said in an interview.

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Mueller has been leading an ambitious restructuring of the airline. His plans have included cutting unprofitable routes, slashing thousands of jobs, and bringing in new managers.

The airline has declined to comment on why Mueller is choosing to step down in September.