Airline executive Christoph Mueller has resigned from his position as CEO of Malaysia Airlines (MAS), less than a year after he was brought on in an effort to salvage the ailing carrier.
Mueller cited “changing personal circumstances” in his decision to step down, the BBC reported. He will remain in the job until September.
The German-born Mueller arrived at Malaysia Airlines last June after years working in the airline industry in Europe, where he was credited with revitalizing the Irish carrier Aer Lingus. Experts were hoping he would deliver the same magic touch to Malaysia’s state carrier, which carried the burdens of substantial financial losses and two catastrophes — the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March 2014, and the violent downing of Flight 17 just four months later.
He effectively reinvented the airline as a much smaller regional carrier to compete with budget airlines like Air Asia. Earlier this year, MAS ended its service between Kuala Lumpur and Amsterdam — the route of the doomed Flight 17 — and is planning on selling off larger aircraft like the double-decker Airbus A380.