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Lion Air chief Rusdi Kirana takes back seat, but still poised to soar

Published on Mar 6, 2014 12:30 AM
Indonesia's Lion Air chief Rusdi Kirana poses in this file photo taken five years ago. -- PHOTO: SPH

Weeks after entering politics, Lion Air chief Rusdi Kirana has relinquished his post at the helm of the region's largest budget carrier but retains his position as the group Chief Executive Officer, to focus on growing other aspects of the business as well as his role as vice-chairman of the National Awakening Party (PKB).

In recent years, he took a step back from operational duties to prepare for a succession to revitalise the company while it is at a peak, he told reporters in a media conference Wednesday, witnessed by top executives in the Lion Air Tower in central Jakarta.

"It is about time, after 15 years as Lion Air CEO, to give way to others and for me to focus on other aspects of business and politics," he said, citing his intention to look beyond Indonesia to grow revenue.

His move, coming weeks before national elections and two months after he was parachuted into the higher echelon of the PKB party of former president Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid, stoked speculation that it was politically motivated.

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