🇨🇦 Canadian North names Kuujjuaq’s Shelly De Caria interim CEO, president

Michael Rodyniuk out as part of ‘strategic leadership transition’; De Caria becomes first Inuk to lead airline

By Jeff Pelletier, Nunatsiaq News - October 18, 2023
Born and raised in Kuujjuaq, Shelly De Caria has been named the first Inuk to lead Canadian North as the airline’s interim CEO and president. (Photo courtesy of Canadian North)

A born-and-raised Kuujjuaq woman became the first Inuk to lead Canadian North as the airline’s interim CEO and president on Monday.

Shelly De Caria’s promotion to interim chief executive officer was announced in a news release Monday afternoon.

Michael Rodyniuk, who had been the airline’s president and CEO since July 2022, was replaced effective immediately, the release said.

“As an Inuk, I am immensely proud to lead an organization that is deeply rooted in community and committed to serving the unique needs in our regions,” De Caria said in a statement.

“With the unwavering support of our talented team, I am confident that we will continue to uphold our mission and make a positive impact in the communities we serve.”

De Caria was not available for interviews Monday afternoon, spokesperson Annie Thomlinson said in an email.

De Caria, who speaks Inuktitut as a second language, has “over a decade of experience” in leadership, the airline said.

Last month, Canadian North announced her appointment as its vice-president of sales, marketing and distribution — a role she will continue in while serving as interim CEO.

Asked if it was possible to get comment from Rodyniuk and Canadian North to explain the leadership change, Thomlinson forwarded a statement on behalf of the airline.

“In a move to align Canadian North’s strategic objectives, the board of directors has advised Michael Rodyniuk of a strategic leadership transition,” the statement read.

Michael Rodyniuk, the former CEO and president of Canadian North airline, speaks to an open house in Iqaluit in May. Rodyniuk left the company on Monday in what it called a “strategic leadership transition.” (File photo by David Lochead)

The change was the result of what the airline called “thoughtful deliberation” and Canadian North expressed “gratitude” to Rodyniuk for his service to the company.

Rodyniuk himself could not be reached on his cellphone to comment on his departure.

At various points during Rodyniuk’s year on the job, he was pressed for answers by community members, reporters and politicians on issues such as flight schedules and the costs of travel and cargo.

The airline said it would provide details about its search for a permanent CEO as they become available.

Rodyniuk, a longtime airline executive, became Canadian North’s CEO last year after the departure of Chris Avery.

Located in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada, Nunatsiaq News is dedicated to covering affairs in Nunavut and the Nunavik territory of Quebec since 1973. It has been a partner to ArcticToday and its predecessors since 2016.

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