AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes will step aside from the company for at least two months after reports surfaced he and another top executive may have accepted a bribe from Airbus in exchange for major aircraft orders.
It can be recalled that on January 31st, a Malaysian website wrote an article ‘AirAsia directors/staff got RM240 mil bribe from Airbus’. Responding to that, AirAsia stated that it was neither involved in any way whatsoever with the SFO’s investigation of Airbus nor given any opportunity to provide any information or clarification to the SFO.
The press statement also mentioned that AirAsia is monitoring developments in this matter and will review any allegations or negative inferences concerning or affecting AirAsia and/or any of its executives and will fully cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the relevant authorities where required.
In the wake of this allegation, AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes and Chairman, Kamarudin Meranun has temporarily stepped down from their role.
In a media statement, both AirAsia chiefs mentioned that they categorically deny any and all allegations of wrongdoing or misconduct on our part as directors of AirAsia. In a joint statement, they said, “We would not harm the very companies that we spent our entire lives building up to their present global status.”
The statement also said, “To facilitate and independent investigation by AirAsia, we are relinquishing our executive roles with immediate effect for a period for two months, or such other period that the companies may deem fit.”
Both the chiefs will nonetheless continue to assist AirAsia in an advisory capacity as and when required.