Ex Aer Lingus boss Christoph Mueller steps down from Malaysian Airlines as CEO
Former Aer Lingus chief executive Christoph Mueller is stepping down as the boss of Malaysia Airlines, just a year after leaving his role with the Irish carrier to take up the post.
Mr Mueller had a three-year contract with Malaysia Airlines. But he said "personal circumstances will make it difficult" to complete the term. He will remain as a non-executive director.
Former Ryanair executive Peter Bellew, who is COO with Malaysia Airlines, has been made an executive director of the carrier.
"We are very disappointed to lose Christoph as CEO but we fully understand his reasons and respect his need to do this," its chairman Md Nor Yusof said.
Mueller formally took charge in May last year to lead restructuring efforts.
Malaysia state investor Khazanah took the airline private in 2014 as part of a six billion Malaysian ringgit (€1.37bn) restructuring aimed at returning the carrier to profit within three years.
The airline suffered twin disasters in 2014 after flight MH370, which was carrying 239 passengers and crew, disappeared in March. In July 2014 another flight, MH17, was shot down over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.
Mueller is a former chairman of An Post.
He left Aer Lingus just as IAG was in the throes of its battle to buy the airline, having signalled his planned departure before the takeover approach was made. As a shareholder he pocketed millions of euro from the Aer Lingus sale.