Lana Kinley quits DSA


Denel Saab Aerostructures CE Lana Kinley has resigned from the embattled parastatal. Kinley confirmed the move to defenceWeb but referred all further questions to Denel group CE Talib Sadik or DSA chairman Llew Jones.

Jones acknowledged the move this morning, adding Kinley and chief financial officer Sasa Methola tendered their resignations on Tuesday. “Both will remain in office in their respective roles until further notice,” he says.
“A special DSA board meeting has been scheduled for January 22 (next Friday) to discuss this development as well as the issue of succession, after which further communication will be distributed in this regard,” adds Jones.
“The DSA board has expressed its thanks to both Kinley and Methola for their valuable contributions as executive directors of the DSA Board and executive managers of DSA.”

Kinley is on leave today. She has given the company 30 days notice and will leave it by February 11.

The Engineering News this morning reports Sadik yesterday declined to disclose the reasons for the resignations, but stated that they were for “similar reasons” and not coincidental.

DSA posted a loss of R452.6 million for the year to March 2009, largely because of delays in the Airbus Military A400M programme. Last month the Solidarity trade union said the company was as a consequence preparing to retrench about 119 of the employees.

Last August Kinley told Engineering News that “this is a high fixed costs business. You need to bring in revenue. We are not doing particularly well at the moment. Essentially, it is all about getting more order cover. The A400M delays have created a big hole in our work.”

In November, she explained that the company was busy making components for the sixth A400M but “as previously announced by Airbus, there is a year’s delay on [aircraft 7]. This means we face a big hole in our revenue, until such time as we can fill it up with production orders. We are certainly looking for alternative work, but the global recession doesn’t help.”

Kinley in December said the company had to cut 15% of its spending, including staff salaries. She said the company “simply will not survive” unless it goes through an operational restructuring.
“Further measures will be introduced to allow the company to achieve break-even and, while this is only expected to happen in the next three years (depending on markets and cost reductions), periodic reviews of DSA’s position will take place on an ongoing basis to ensure that operations remain at their lowest fixed cost base,” Kinley said in a written note to defenceWeb at the time.