DALLAS — Qantas (QF) CEO Alan Joyce will depart from his position two months earlier than anticipated due to recent controversies surrounding the airline’s profits and service. The decision was made to expedite the company’s rejuvenation, according to a Tuesday, September 5 release from the airline.
Vanessa Hudson, the CEO designate, will now take on the role of managing director and group CEO starting on September 6.
Mr. Joyce, who has been the CEO of Qantas Airways Limited since 2008, stated that recent events and the focus on QF made it evident that the company needed to prioritize its renewal. In light of these circumstances, he believed that bringing forward his retirement and handing the airline over to Vanessa, who first joined the airline in 1994, and the new management team would be the best course of action.
Qantas has faced a challenging week, with Mr. Joyce facing tough questioning regarding airfares, COVID refunds, allegations of protection from competitor Qatar Airways (QR), and a lawsuit from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). On Friday, Mr. Joyce received US$10.8 million in shares as deferred bonuses for 2020, 2021, and 2022. He is also expected to receive a short-term bonus of up to US$4.3 million and long-term bonus shares worth US$8 million for the previous financial year.
In response to allegations of “false, misleading, and deceptive conduct” in selling tickets for canceled flights, the carrier issued a contrite public apology on Monday, September 4. The ACCC launched a Federal Court action seeking penalties, injunctions, declarations, and costs exceeding US$250 million.
While QF indicated it may contest the court action, the company acknowledged the significant concern among customers and the community. QF admitted that its service standards fell short during the period mentioned in the ACCC’s claims, expressing an apology and a determination to repair its reputation.
According to theNewDaily.com.au, the situation regarding flight restrictions and accusations of a government “protection racket” for the carrier has also garnered attention. Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie called for a Senate inquiry into the decision to block additional QR flights, which had the potential to lower airfares and benefit the Australian tourism industry.
Featured image: Qantas