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Airways High Flier Young Executive of the Year

Thursday 27 November, 2003:

Airways Corporation High Flier is the 2003 NZIM Young Executive of the Year

A young executive working in an international and complex field at Airways Corporation of New Zealand has been named The New Zealand Institute of Management Young Executive of the Year for 2003.

Mike Sang, general manager, finance, for Airways Corporation is described by judges as an outstanding and effective young executive who is both strategic and innovative in his business thinking – an approach that has been critical to the development of business relationships and growth for the Corporation.

Airways Corporation chief executive Ashley Smout describes Mr Sang is “a talented young executive who is future CEO material”. Mr Sang has few doubts about his ability and sees himself as a good leader with the skills necessary to become a CEO. And that is his goal. He understands that he has to get some more management ‘notches’ on his belt but, there isn’t any question in his mind that he is headed for the top. The judges of this year’s NZIM Young Executive of the Year Awards felt similarly about his potential.

Mr Sang has been leading and managing people “in virtually every role since I left university”. And this includes experience working overseas as well as in different New Zealand companies.

While he finds it difficult to explain his leadership style in a single phrase, he concedes it is geared toward “clear organisation”. “I like everyone to know and understand their roles and responsibilities,” he says. He likes to empower people. “I like people to take responsibility and take charge of their own areas [of responsibility]”.

Mike Sang has handled some fairly complex and sensitive projects in his five years at Airways Corporation of New Zealand. Projects like setting out to solve the company’s future capital funding requirements, a problem he solved by introducing his executives and board to the complexities of leveraged cross-border leasing as a cost-effective way for Airways to meet its long-term financing requirements.

Sang feels he has had a major part to play in helping the organisation reach and retain its current strong industry position. Now NZIM’s Young Executive of the Year for 2003 is looking forward to his next big challenge.

Mike Sang was one of three young executives vie-ing for this year’s award.
The other finalists, all winners of regional competitions, were Martin Ellis, group general manager, Sleepyhead Manufacturing Company (Northern Region winner) and David Barron, general manager, CommArc Consulting, the Southern region winner.


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