THE Qantas Group has named Vanessa Hudson as its next CEO and Managing Director, taking over from Alan Joyce, who will retire in November 2023.
Hudson is currently the Group’s Chief Financial Officer, and has held a number of executive roles throughout her 28-year career with the Aussie carrier, including Chief Customer Officer and Senior Vice President for Qantas across the Americas and New Zealand.
Until she takes the helm as the company’s 13th CEO, Hudson will continue in her current role while also being CEO designate and joining the Board.
“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,” Chairman Richard Goyder said.
“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.”
Goyder also paid tribute to Joyce’s 15-year leadership as Qantas Group CEO, saying, “this transition is happening at a time when the Qantas Group is extremely well positioned. We have a clear strategy, a strong balance sheet and record profitability that supports a pipeline of investment for customers, opportunities for our people and returns to shareholders”.
“Much of the credit for the bright future in front of Qantas goes to Alan. He’s faced more than his fair share of challenges as CEO and he’s managed them exceptionally well – from the GFC, to record oil prices, to intense competitive pressures and the COVID crisis.
“The company was restructured to deal with a number of external shocks and Alan led it to a several record profits. He’s overseen a lot of investment in aircraft, lounges, the creation of Jetstar, our cornerstone partnership with Emirates and innovations like the Perth-London route and Project Sunrise.
“Alan has done a superb job of leading a team that is absolutely committed to the national carrier’s long-term success and it’s from that team that his successor has been chosen,” Goyder added.
Qantas will announce a new CFO in the coming months.