Non-independent Executive Director And Group Chief Executive Officer
Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes, CBE is a Malaysian entrepreneur. He is the founder of the first budget no-frills airline, with the tagline “Now everyone can fly”. Fernandes managed to turn AirAsia, a failing government-linked commercial airline, into a highly successful budget airline public-listed company. He has since founded the Tune Group of companies.
Fernandes’ biggest achievement was to open up countries within the region to new budget carriers, which previously did not have open-skies agreements. As a result of Fernandes’ lobbying in mid-2003, Dr Mahathir brought up the idea with leaders from neighbouring countries. Those nations subsequently granted landing rights to AirAsia and other discount carriers.
Fernandes was also involved in a reality TV series: The Apprentice Asia is an Asian reality game show in which a group of aspiring young businessmen and women compete for the chance to work with Fernandes.
As of February 2014, Forbes Asia valued Fernandes’ net worth at $650 million, ranking him at number 28 on the Forbes list of Malaysia’s Richest.