SAA’s Interim CEO Thomas Kgokolo is to leave the airline at the end of April 2022 after a successful year at the helm, and John Lamola will assume the role of the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1st May 2022.
Since exiting business rescue in April 2021 SAA has made significant strides in improving revenue and reopening services both locally and regionally and is now fully focused on its transition to control by its envisaged majority shareholder, Takatso Consortium, which will take a 51% stake in SAA later in the year.
SAA Lead Independent Non-Executive director, Ms Bembe Zwane says, “Thomas took the job of CEO as leader of a cohort of a Transition Management Team. He was generous enough to offer his professional services under a short term contract which we have eagerly extended on numerous occasions. Thomas has requested that his contract not be renewed. We appreciate the time he has given to SAA and look forward to the leadership of the executive team by John Lamola”
Professor Lamola was appointed non-executive chairman of the SAA Interim Board in July 2021. He is an Associate Professor at the Institute for Intelligent Systems of the University of Johannesburg. In addition to a PhD degree in Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh, he holds an MBA from a premier tertiary institution of education in aviation and aerospace studies in the United States, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He was the CEO of Denel Aviation between 1996 and 2001. He served on the Board of Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) from 2012 until 2017. Lamola has managed a proprietary portfolio of private equity investments through a number of privately held companies, including an aviation consulting firm, Baji Aviation Service.
Lamola added that the business strategy of SAA remains intact and on course as the Board and the Ministry of Public Enterprises are steadfastly pursing their goal of a sustainable SAA for the good of the entire South African economy.