Air New Zealand names former Unilever exec as CEO

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Air New Zealand is naming former Unilever executive Christopher Luxon as its new leader.

New Zealand's national carrier announced Tuesday that Luxon will take over as chief executive in December after Rob Fyfe announced earlier this year he is retiring.

Luxon, a New Zealander, is former president and chief executive of Unilever's Canadian business. He joined Air New Zealand in May 2011 and has been managing the airline's international arm.

Majority owned by the government, Air New Zealand earlier this year announced plans to reduce its staff of 11,500 by more than 400 after recording a 71 percent drop in its half-year profit. Still, the airline has weathered the economic downturn better than many rival carriers, including Australia's Qantas.

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