CORRECT: Air NZ's Parton gets the nod for inner circle

(Fixes CEO's name and Parton's new title in first graph)

By Paul McBeth

Nov. 12 (BusinessDesk) - National carrier Air New Zealand's Bruce Parton will join incoming boss Christopher Luxon's inner circle after being appointed chief operations officer.

Group Australasian general manager Parton, who reportedly put his hat in the ring for the top job, will take on the new role from next year, Air NZ said in a statement. He joins chief financial officer Rob McDonald, chief flight operations and safety officer Captain David Morgan, chief marketing and customer officer Mike Tod and chief strategy and planning officer Stephen Jones, who were confirmed on the executive team in October.

"Having worked closely with him since my arrival last year I know his passion for our airline will be a significant asset going forward," Luxon said. "With his mix of technical, logistics and commercial background, Bruce was the ideal candidate to fill the new chief operations officer role and being an internal appointment further supports a strong executive leadership team ready to hit the ground running in 2013."

Luxon's appointment has seen GM of human resources Vanessa Stoddart flag her exit at the end of the year, and deputy CEO and 44-year industry veteran Norm Thompson will retire in June. Glen Sowry, GM of operations, was another to jump ship, announcing his departure in September.

The executive team will be rounded out by a new chief commercial officer and chief people officer.

Air NZ shares rose 0.4 percent to $1.25 in trading today.

(BusinessDesk)

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