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AOT begins hunt for its new chief

BackMay 09, 2007

Job a tough sell despite B1m salary

Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) is hunting for a new chief executive by offering an attractive remuneration package including monthly pay close to one million baht.

The state-controlled airport operator is accepting applications until May 29 for the position of president as analysts warned that the opening may not attract significant interest. A host of major problems related to Suvarnabhumi Airport could prove to be a deterrent to candidates.

"It is a hot seat and somewhat thankless with too many headaches. Simply put, many people will be too scared to apply," one source said.

The successful candidate will assume the hot seat temporarily held by Kulya Pakakrong, vice-president for planning and finance, who assumed the role after Chotisak Asapaviriya resigned in February.

Mr Chotisak tendered his resignation after eight months in the job, citing health problems, though some officials suggested his departure was prompted by suspicions that he would not pass the performance evaluation by the AoT board chaired by Gen Saprang Kalayanamitr.

Mrs Kulya has made it known that she does not intend to seek the presidency and will return her old job when a replacement is found.

She has served AoT for 25 years, has a proven track record and could be a strong candidate if she ran, insiders said.

Sources added that AoT's selection committee chaired by Chalor Kocharak, the former deputy permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry, is keen to find someone experienced in aviation.

Mr Chotisak, who previously served as president of the SME Bank, was criticised for his lack of knowledge and experience in the aviation industry that prevented him from performing well at AoT.

The selection committee will apply the standard qualifications set out by the State Enterprise Executives and Officers Act. The candidate must:

- currently hold or previously have held at least a title of vice-president in a private organisation with annual revenue of at least 3.5 billion baht;

- be at least a deputy director-general, deputy director or deputy chief of a government agency equivalent to deputy director-general;

- be a former or present executive of a state enterprise, at least an assistant managing director or assistant governor;

- hold the position for at least one year.

- be no older than 60, not be a member of the AoT board, a political party or involved in entities that have interests with AoT's business for the past three years.

The term is for four years or when the person turns 60. Remuneration and benefits include a monthly salary ranging from 400,000 to 900,000 baht.

AoT operates six major airports in Thailand: Suvarnabhumi, Don Muang, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Phuket and Hat Yai.

Last year, AoT airports handled 53.03 million passengers. It had a net profit of 10.4 billion baht for the fiscal year ending on Sept 30 on 16.26 billion baht in revenue.

AOT shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 59.50 baht, down 50 satang, in trade worth 88 million baht.


Source: Bangkokpost by Boonsong Kositchotethana
Wednesday May 09, 2007