Singapore-based low-cost carrier (LCC) Tigerair Group is replacing board chairman and industry veteran JY Pillay in favor of financial strategist Hsieh Fu Hua from the end of July.
Hsieh is former chairman at Singapore’s United Overseas Bank; he has been CEO of Singapore Exchange and ex-president of Singapore’s sovereign Temasek Holdings. He will replace Pillay, a 30-plus year veteran of Singapore Airlines who has been credited with being a key architect of Singapore Airlines’ early successes.
The move comes following reported Tigerair Group losses of $177 million for the year ended March 2014 and a failed Tigerair bid to find a buyer for its Indonesian Tigerair Mandala subsidiary. Tigerair closed the Mandala offshoot with just a few weeks' notice. That came on the heels of the fire sale of Tigerair’s Philippine operation for $15 million in March to Cebu Pacific.
Pillay is the second Tiger executive casualty in the last couple of months—in May, Tigerair replaced CEO Koay Peng Yen with former Singapore Airlines’ long-term executive Lee Lik Hsin.
A Tigerair statement said the group will “now focus on its core operation in Singapore” and indicated there would be rationalization in the near future; it also said it was “laying firm foundations for the Tigerair Group’s turnaround.”