Qantas Airways announced on Tuesday that its long-serving CEO Alan Joyce will be leaving the company two months ahead of schedule as reputational turmoil engulfs Australia’s flagship carrier.
Joyce’s early retirement will see CEO-designate Vanessa Hudson, the first woman to lead the century-old airline, take charge on Wednesday.
The fast-track departure comes after Qantas apologized for its poor service standards and admitted its reputation had been tarnished, after Australia’s competition regulator sued it for allegedly selling tickets for thousands canceled flights.
Joyce, who was the airline’s CEO for 15 years, said: “Over the past few weeks, the focus on Qantas and events of the past have made it clear to me that the company needs to move forward as a priority. forward with its renewal. »
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last week said in a court filing that the carrier breached consumer law by selling tickets for more than 8,000 flights between May and July 2022 without disclosing that they had been cancelled.
“This transition comes at an obviously difficult time for Qantas and its people,” Qantas chairman Richard Goyder said of Joyce’s early departure. “We have important work to do to restore public confidence in the type of company we are, and that’s what the board is focused on and what management will do under Vanessa’s leadership.
The carrier announced a series of management changes in June in a bid to focus more on key areas as the airline completes its post-pandemic recovery.
Last month, the carrier posted a record annual profit, supported by a continued strong rebound in travel demand.
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