Air New Zealand's Board of Directors have appointed Walmart US president and CEO Greg Foran as the airline's new chief executive.
New Zealand-born Mr Foran is currently responsible for the US retail chain's 4500 stores and more than one million staff after taking on the position in August 2014.
Mr Foran will take up the position the airline in the first quarter of 2020, replacing Christopher Luxon, who yesterday confirmed he has put his hat in the ring to become National’s candidate for the controversial seat of Botany – independent MP Jami-Lee Ross' current electorate.
In a statement, Air New Zealand Chairman Dame Therese Walsh said Mr Foran, who grew up in Hastings and Hamilton and is the father of Kiwis league international Kieran Foran, will be an outstanding leader of the airline.
"We are thrilled to have attracted a world class Kiwi back home," she said.
"Greg has an impeccable track record in delivering strong commercial performance, outstanding customer focus and in building teams that can take a business to the next level."
Mr Foran said he is thrilled to take on the new role.
"I am an incredibly proud Kiwi and to be given the job of nurturing and building on the legacy of an iconic company that represents the best of our nation at home and around the world really excites me," he said.
Walmart US paid tribute to Mr Foran in a statement, writing, "We will miss Greg and thank him for his leadership. He has made a difference for our customers, associates and shareholders."
In the same statement, Mr Foran said, "It is bittersweet to leave Walmart, but this incredible opportunity to lead an iconic Kiwi brand was one I could not pass up, and I'm looking forward to this next chapter."