Rolls Royce names new CFO, former Deloitte partner Panos Kakoullis

Rolls Royce Holdings on Sunday named former Deloitte partner Panos Kakoullis as the company’s next chief financial officer. The appointment will be announced Monday, as reported by Sky News.

The new appointment comes at a time when the company is struggling from the impacts of the coronavirus. It has been a challenging time for the company as demand for air travel has been slashed and many planes grounded.

A month ago, Rolls Royce lowered its forecast for the year as COVID-19 travel restrictions threaten to get tighter, implying that there would be a cash outflow of 2 billion pounds ($2.7 billion).

Since the company’s last CFO Stephen Daintith resigned last August, the company has been in search of a new CFO. Although the former CFO has remained at the company for the transition period before the next CFO comes on board and before he leaves for British online technology group Ocado as the new CFO.

The named CFO Kakoullis was a former Deloitte partner for over 20 years. He also served as the managing director of the global audit and assurance business for four years at accounting firm, the Big Four.

Although Kakoullis has no direct CFO experience at an FTSE-100 company, a former colleague said he was still ideal for the job after formerly working as a financial advisor to big names like Tesco and Vodafone.

Last year, the aero engines maker raised £5bn in debt and equity. It also revealed its plans to lay off 9000 of its employees, especially those in the UK. In recent times, the company confirmed the temporary shutdown of its jet-engine factories by this summer. By extension, this will affect the 19,000 staff in its civil aerospace unit.

The new appointment of a CFO will not be the only top executive appointment the company is considering as Sky News recently revealed that Rolls Royce has hired headhunters to search for its next chairman as its current chairman Sir Ian Davis prepares to retire in 2022.

The search which is led by MWM Consulting remains at its early stage. The next announcement will likely be in the second half of the year.

Shares of Rolls Royce has dropped by almost two-thirds over the last 12 months. Its stock price has seen a level of instability amid the coronavirus pandemic and the travel ban. The entire global aviation industry has been affected by the pandemic, so also the supply chain.  

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