On November 7, we had the honour of welcoming Calin Rovinescu, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada and Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, to the Chancellor's Master Class. This class brought together all Telfer School MBA and Executive MBA candidates. Mr. Rovinescu shared his experience at Air Canada and discussed its turnaround in the global market.
As Telfer Executive MBA Director Sophia Leong explains, we have to learn from our successes, but especially from the successes of our Canadian companies.
“Air Canada’s transformation from near death to market success is a perfect example of active learning from M. Rovinescu” stated Ms. Leong. “He led the financial and commercial turnaround by making bold and risky moves to transform Air Canada to a global player. Air Canada is a live case of ‘The Art of the Possible’ and M. Rovinescu brought that reality to both the Executive MBA and MBA candidates.”
In his presentation, Mr. Rovinescu discussed the role of a president and CEO, who must make bold decisions when standard practices fail. He likened this approach to solving a Rubik's Cube. “To move to more sustainable business outcomes, Air Canada had to let go of former business strategies or practises despite the associated risks and difficulties” said Mr. Rovinescu.
“This created significant change management for Air Canada personnel and stakeholders. In addition to frequent and mindful communication, we had to emphasize on the importance of ‘symbols’ to instill pride in the workforce and stakeholders. By leveraging the maple leaf symbol, Air Canada is mindful it is branding ‘Canada’ by proxy.”