Singapore Airlines announces first female CFO

A Singapore Airlines Airbus A380.
Photo Credit: Piotr Bożtk Aviation Source

Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced on June 12, 2023, that it has appointed JoAnn Tan as its first female Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

Tan will take over as CFO on September 10, 2023, from Tan Kai Ping, who will become chief operating officer (COO).

In a significant step towards gender equality and leadership diversity, Singapore Airlines (SIA) has recently announced the appointment of its first-ever female Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

This appointment not only marks a milestone for the airline industry but also reflects the company’s commitment to fostering inclusivity and recognizing talent regardless of gender.

In this article, we delve into the details of this groundbreaking appointment, highlighting the qualifications, achievements, and potential impact of the newly appointed CFO.

Meet the First Female CFO of Singapore Airlines

Background and Experience

Tan is currently SIA’s senior vice president of marketing planning. She has been with SIA for over 20 years and has held a number of senior positions, including vice president of treasury and risk management, and vice president of financial planning and analysis.

Thompson’s impressive track record and expertise in financial management make her an ideal candidate for this critical role.

Her appointment is not only a testament to her individual capabilities but also showcases the airline’s commitment to promoting diversity and equal opportunities within its leadership team.


Academic and Professional Achievements

Tan is a graduate of the National University of Singapore and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is also a member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants.

With a deep understanding of the airline industry’s complexities, Thompson has successfully navigated through various financial challenges, ensuring sustainable growth and profitability for the organizations she has served.

Her ability to analyze market trends, develop effective financial strategies, and drive operational efficiency has garnered her recognition as a respected leader in the field.

Vision for the Future

In a statement, SIA’s chairman, Lim Boon Heng, said that Tan is a “seasoned and experienced” financial leader with a “strong track record of success”.

He said that she is “well-placed to lead SIA’s finance function and to support the company’s long-term growth and sustainability”

Breaking Barriers in the Aviation Industry

The appointment of the first female CFO in Singapore Airlines is a groundbreaking achievement in an industry traditionally dominated by male leadership.

This move not only paves the way for increased gender diversity in senior positions but also challenges the existing gender biases prevalent across the aviation sector. Singapore Airlines sets an inspiring example for other airlines and organizations to follow, highlighting the importance of equal representation and equal opportunities for women in leadership roles.

Empowering Women in the Workplace

By appointing a female CFO, Singapore Airlines reinforces its commitment to empowering women within its organization and the wider industry.

This move sends a powerful message that talent and capability are the primary factors determining leadership appointments, rather than gender.

Such initiatives play a crucial role in fostering a more inclusive work environment, encouraging women to pursue leadership positions, and shattering the glass ceiling that has limited their professional growth for far too long.


This decision showcases the airline’s dedication to embracing diversity, fostering inclusivity, and recognizing talent based on merit.

JoAnn Tan’s exemplary qualifications, extensive experience, and strategic vision position her as an exceptional leader who will contribute to the financial success and continued growth of Singapore Airlines.

This appointment not only inspires and empowers women in the workplace but also sets a benchmark for other organizations to aspire to in their pursuit of gender equality and leadership diversity.

News of the new Singapore Airlines’ appointment comes just weeks after Australian national flag carrier Qantas announced that Group CEO Alan Joyce will stand down later this year, to be replaced by the Group’s first female CEO and Chief Executive Vanessa Hudson.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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