In parallel with unveiling the airline's new four-year strategic business plan, Air New Zealand (ANZ) chief executive Ralph Norris has reshaped the responsibilities of his management team to 'realign our business to ensure we achieve our potential'.

One of the most significant changes sees the departure of chief operating officer Andrew Miller, with this position no longer part of the executive structure. Norman Thompson, who joined the carrier in 1968, takes the role of group general manager sales and marketing. He was previously senior vice-president sales and distribution.

Rob Fyfe, who joined the airline in early 2003 with a background in banking, telecommunications and media, moves from chief information officer to group general manager airlines. This portfolio includes responsibility for all airlines, except Freedomair, logistics and fleet management.

The other group general managers are Craig Sinclair, who is responsible for ventures, and Vanessa Stoddart, who handles human resources and organisational change. Shane Warbrick continues as chief financial officer.

The only post yet to be filled is that of executive analyst, a position that will report directly to Norris. This role will involve managing the strategic planning process for the ANZ group.

To date no deputy for Norris has been announced, but a decision on this will be made shortly. Within the new structure there is also no-one designated as the successor to Norris. He views all his direct reports as potential successors, says ANZ.

The business plan continues the carrier's focus on offering low fares, while also developing new technologies for online booking and passenger processing at the airport. There will also be a focus on boosting the group's engineering business.

On top of this, ANZ plans to trim its workforce of 10,000 people by 15% over the next four years, mainly through attrition, helping to deliver annual savings of NZ$245 million ($145 million) once all the initiatives are implemented in 2007.

Source: Airline Business