Tony Fernandes

Founder of Air Asia

DR. Tony Fernandes was appointed Group Chief Executive Officer of the Company in December 2001. He is also a member of the Employee Share Option Committee of the Board. Prior to joining the Company, he was Financial Controller at Virgin Communications London from 1987 to 1989, Senior Financial Analyst at Warner Music International London from 1989 to 1992, Managing Director at Warner Director at Warner Music Malaysia, from 1992 to 1996, Regional Managing Director, ASEAN from August 1996 to December 1999 and Vice President, ASEAN from December 1999 to July 2001 at Warner Music South East Asia.

He was actively involved in developing the Malaysian music industry and received the title: Setia Mahkota Selangor’ from DYMM Sultan Selangor Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah in 1999 in recognition of his contributions and was also the recipient of the ‘Recording Industry Person of the Year 1997’ by the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia.

A highly decorated man, he has received numerous awards from the industry observers and international press alike. Among the awards are, ‘Malaysia CEO of the year 2003’ by American Express and the Business Times, ‘Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year – Malaysia 2003’ at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2004, ‘Airline Business Strategy Award 2005 and Low Cost Leadership’ by Airline Business and he was also named Asia Pacific Aviation Executive by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) for the year 2004 and 2005. In July 2005, he was conferred the Darjah Datuk Paduka Tuanku Ja’afar (DPTJ) which carries the title Dato’ by the Negeri Sembilan’s Yang DiPertuan Besar Tuanku Ja’afar Tuanku Abdul Rahman in conjunction with His Majesty’s 83rd birthday celebrations in recognition of his services rendered to the betterment of the nation and community. In 2006, he was named the Master Entrepreneur of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 Malaysia. He also bagged ‘The Brand Laureate’ Brand Personality for his exemplary performance, dedication and contribution towards the aviation industry in Malaysia in the same year and also in 2007. He was admitted as an Associate Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 1991 and became a Fellow Member in 1996. In 2007, he was conferred yet another title, the Darjah Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang (DSAP) which carries the title Dato’ by the Pahang’s KDYMM Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Sir Abu Bakar Riayatuddin Al- Muadzam Shahas recognition of his services rendered to the betterment of the nation and community.

In 2008, he was bestowed with another title by the Sultan, the Darjah Kebesaran Sultan Ahmad Shah Pahang Yang Amat Di Mulia which carries the title Dato’ Sri. In 2009, he was conferred the ‘CAPA Legend Award 2009 (Aviation Hall of Fame)’ in recognition of his influential actions for directly shaping the way the aviation industry has evolved, and ‘Airline CEO of the Year Award for 2009’ from Jane’s Transport Finance, for successfully leading and growing AirAsia into the world’s best low-cost airline and Asia’s largest.

In March 2010, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Business Innovation from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), a recognition for his role in changing the face of aviation and benefitting travelers and economies locally and in the region, and the following month the title of ‘Officier of the Legion d’ Honneur’ by the government of France for his outstanding contributions to the aviation industry. The Legion d’ Honneur -- the highest rank of honour that the government of France can award to a non-French citizen -- was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to recognize outstanding.

Tony Fernandes was a Counsellor at One Young World Summits: 2010 in London.