NEW DELHI: “…there are other mountains to climb…” That’s how Air India
MD & CEO-designate Campbell Wilson
has described his decision to quit Scoot and join AI.
Wilson said this in an emotional farewell letter to his colleagues at the budget arm of Singapore Airlines (SIA).
“I am humbled to have been selected by Air India’s board as that airline’s new CEO. It is a fantastic opportunity to lead a historic airline, now owned by the Tata Group
, to new heights, and I am grateful to embark on that exciting challenge with the full blessings of the SIA management team,” the aviation veteran said in his note.
Wilson, 50, is currently the CEO of SIA’s budget arm Scoot and will bid adieu from there on June 15. Tata-SIA JV Vistara former CEO Leslie Thng will succeed him at Scoot.
With full service AI and Vistara and low cost AI Express and AirAsia India in its fold, the Tatas have selected someone who has rich experience of running both these models.
“Dear colleagues, it is with deeply mixed emotions that I write this note to you all… I informed the executive team and your union leaders of my resignation from Scoot and the SIA Group. It was by no means an easy decision to leave. SIA was my first professional job and has been my home for the last 26 years,” the note said.
“Across 3 continents, 6 countries and more than 12 roles, SIA has accorded me so many more opportunities and experiences than I could ever have dreamed. It is especially hard to leave Scoot which, in two chapters, I have had the honour and pleasure of nurturing — together with a wonderful, wonderful group of people, past and present — from a mere spreadsheet to, amongst many other things, the world's best long-haul, low-cost airline… Scoot has truly been a labour of love.”
“My successor as CEO of Scoot, Leslie Thng, will be familiar to many of you from his time as our CCO in 2016-2017, or as CE of SilkAir prior to that. I know that Les will do a wonderful job and am comforted that you are in good hands. Rest assured that he and I will be doing a comprehensive handover before I depart on June 15. Scoot faces the future in a strong position. The foundations built over the years are solid, and we have effectively used the last two years to reshape and reinforce the organisation, to optimise the future fleet, to improve systems, processes and capabilities, and to embark on some exciting plans.”
“….My own small contribution to that DNA is nearly complete. But yours is not. So be brave not shy, and share your knowledge, capabilities, quirks and passions freely. And above all, continue to aim high. For if, collectively, you do, I have no doubt that Scoot's future will be bright, and that the Future itself will, without question, be Yellow. My heartfelt thanks for all your support and friendship over the years. I will miss Team Scoot dearly. Campbell,” it read.
Wilson started off as a management trainee with SIA in New Zealand in 1996. He then worked for SIA in Canada, Hong Kong and Japan before returning to Singapore in 2011 as the founding CEO of Scoot, which he led until 2016.
He then served as the senior VP sales & marketing of SIA, where he oversaw pricing, distribution, e-commerce, merchandising, brand & marketing, global sales and the airline’s overseas offices, before returning for a second stint as the CEO of Scoot in April 2020. He holds a master of commerce in business administration from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.