PETALING JAYA: “I don’t see myself as The Terminator,” said Malaysia Airlines (MAS) new chief executive officer Christoph Mueller (pic).
In an interview with The Star on Wednesday, the German said he wanted an end to the label which he described as “not nice”.
Mueller said the label, originally from a foreign press report of him reviving Irelandâ€™s Aer Lingus, was made up by the person who wrote it.
“My wife called me and asked me what rubbish is that. I never hear that before, itâ€™s just made up,” he said.
The report stated that Mueller was dubbed The Terminator in Ireland because his German accent made for easy comparisons to Arnold Schwarzenegger in assassin-robot mode as he outlined his plans to fix Aer Lingus.
Mueller said reporters at the Irish Times or the Irish Independent would not have heard of him being described The Terminator while he was in Aer Lingus.
“By the way I have a German accent and not an Austrian accent,” he added.
Muellerâ€™s initial contract with MAS will be for three years and it would take at least that amount of time to overhaul the airline.
But he said it would be difficult to start a job with full passion if you had an expiry date.
“It’s like you get married for three years, you cannot put your full dedication behind it, if you have that blockage in your head.
“So, I’ve never approached any job in my life with an end date and I won’t do it this time because it blocks my thinking and motivation,” he added.
It is reported that on June 1, termination letters would be sent out to all the employees, but about two-thirds of the staff would be offered jobs with the new company, MAS Bhd.
They have until June 12 to decide if they want to join up on new terms.
The new airline, a smaller entity, will only be able to accommodate about 14,000 employees.
The termination exercise is part of the plan to remake MAS, whose assets and liabilities will be transferred to MAS Bhd which takes over the operations from Sept 1.