Christoph Mueller will not be cutting all Irish ties when he leaves for post at Malaysia Air
Mueller plans to remain as chairman of An Post
Christoph Mueller: also intends staying on as a director of Tourism Ireland
Christoph Mueller will not cut all ties with the Republic when he leaves to take up his new post at Malaysia Air at some point early in 2015. In fact, he is maintaining two rather substantial links, his membership of two State boards.
Mueller plans to remain as chairman of An Post, a role he took over in June of last year and for which he was paid €24,000 in 2013, until his term expires in 2018. He also intends staying on as a director of Tourism Ireland. He is due to leave that job in December 2015.
His insistence that he intended to stay on as chairman of An Post was a key reason why many sources dismissed the aviation industry talk that he was going to take on the Malaysian job.
That organisation, Tourism Ireland and the Government all seem to be very much at home with the idea that he is going to stay on the two boards, even though he will be at the others side of the world in a place to which there are no direct flights.
Whatever about the directorship of the tourist organisation, it will be the first time that a State company chairman will be based outside the country.
Technology should make it feasible to do the job, as he need only physically be here for meetings.
The distance might even be an advantage, as it could allow him to sep back from the politics that inevitably accompanies these roles.
However, it is hard to see this playing well in some quarters. Critics will point at the extra expense involved and argue that neither the Government nor Mueller are taking the chairman’s role at An Post seriously enough.
There may, of course, be another argument: that the Malaysians were so keen on Mueller that they agreed to facilitate him in remaining on as chairman of An Post and in doing the job properly.