Air New Zealand has appointed CFO Jeff McDowall as interim CEO to succeed Christopher Luxon, who will step down from the position Sept. 25.

The carrier said McDowall “is not seeking permanent appointment to the [CEO] role.” Stephan Deschamps, general manager for corporate finance, will be acting CFO.

Air New Zealand said McDowall will lead the company “while the final phase of [CEO] recruitment is underway.”

Luxon announced on June 19 that he would be stepping down as CEO, although the carrier said he would be staying on in an advisory role to support his replacement.

A global search is being undertaken, overseen by board member Therese Walsh. The position “has attracted strong interest from candidates within New Zealand and overseas,” Walsh said. “Given the caliber of the candidates being considered in the selection process, it is possible that the new [CEO] will not start until the first quarter of 2020.”

The search is being handled by global recruitment company Spencer Stuart, out of its Sydney office. Some candidates are understood to have already been interviewed in Sydney.

Adrian Schofield, adrian.schofield@informa.com