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Tuesday 2 May 2023

Joyce to step down; Qantas names new boss

Under-fire Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is to stand down in November and will be replaced by current CFO Vanessa Hudson (above).

The Qantas Group said today that Hudson will become the CEO and managing director.

Although low profile, Hudson has worked in a number of executive positions across the Qantas group over 28 years, including Chief Customer Officer and senior vice president for Qantas across the Americas and New Zealand.

Hudson will continue in her current role while also being CEO designate and joining the board, before taking over as the company’s 13th CEO in 103 years following the 2023 Annual General Meeting, Qantas said in a statement.

Chairman Richard Goyder said the appointment came after a rigorous selection process and allows for a smooth transition from Joyce, who is popular with shareholders but less so with customers.

"A lot of thought has gone into this succession and the Board had a number of high-quality candidates to consider, both internally and externally," Gowder said.

“Vanessa has a deep understanding of this business after almost three decades in a range of roles both onshore and offshore, across commercial, customer and finance. She has a huge amount of airline experience and she’s an outstanding leader.

“For the past five years Vanessa has had a direct hand in shaping our strategy as a member of the Group Management Committee, and her handling of the finance and treasury portfolio during the Covid crisis was outstanding. She also led the fleet selection process in 2022 for the renewal of our domestic jet aircraft over the next decade.

“A key strength of Qantas is the sheer depth of talent it has, and Vanessa will be supported by a deep bench of executives across the organisation as well as by the board.”

Hudson said: “It’s an absolute honour to be asked to lead the national carrier. This is an exceptional company full of incredibly talented people and it’s very well positioned for the future. My focus will be delivering for those we rely on and who rely on us – our customers, our employees, our shareholders and the communities we serve.”

Joyce spent 15 years as Qantas Group CEO.

Image: Qantas

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