* New CEO currently works for domestic carrier
JOHANNESBURG Feb 24 State owned South African
Airways [SAA.UL] on Wednesday named Siza Mzimera as the new
Chief Executive Officer to replace the acting head of the
airline Chris Smyth, a company spokeswoman said.
Vimla Maistry said Mzimera, who is currently the head of
domestic carrier SA Express, will effectively take charge on
April 1 from Smyth, who has been acting SAA CEO for over year.
"I can confirm that we have appointed a new CEO, she is Siza
Mzimera. She will come in (at SAA) one day a week in March and
in April she will go one day a week to SA Express, just to tie
up things," Maistry told Reuters.
Early this month, President Jacob Zuma said he had ordered
an external audit of state companies, following persistent
reports of mismanagement and political meddling, and that he
wants faster action to curb corruption. [IDnLDE61K04E]
Zuma pointed to the SAA and power utility Eskom [ESCJ.UL],
which he said had always had problems.
Key roles at SAA and logistics group Transnet [TRAN.UL] have
also been left unfilled as the companies struggle to resolve
Analysts have said that political meddling in efforts to
resolve the companies' problems has raised questions about South
Africa's ability to run state-owned firms, making investors
hesitate to commit new funds and raising the cost of loans.
(Reporting by Shapi Shacinda; editing by Elaine Hardcastle)