Member since 07 Jan 2011
Total posts 200
This thread is for today's announcement that Vanessa Hudson will take over the CEO role at Qantas. Please keep the discussion civil and on-topic.
2 May 2023: The Qantas Group has today announced Vanessa Hudson will become the next CEO and
Managing Director, taking over from Alan Joyce when he retires in November 2023.
Ms Hudson is currently the Group’s Chief Financial Officer and has worked in a number of executive
positions across the Group over 28 years, including Chief Customer Officer and Senior Vice President for
Qantas across the Americas and New Zealand.
Ms 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 Annual General Meeting. An
announcement on a new CFO will be made in the months ahead.
Chairman Richard Goyder said the appointment came after a rigorous selection process and allows for a
smooth transition from current CEO Alan Joyce.
Mr Goyder said: “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.
“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,” Mr Goyder added.
Ms 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.”
Mr Goyder paid tribute to Alan Joyce’s leadership for what will be 15 years as Qantas Group CEO.
“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,” said Mr Goyder.
“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.
Further information and media releases can be found at the Qantas website: qantasnewsroom.com.au
“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,” added Mr Goyder.
Alan Joyce said: “At the Board’s request, I extended my time as CEO to see through the COVID recovery
plan, so now that we’re on the other side of that crisis it’s a logical time for me to step down. There’s still a
lot I want to deliver in the next six months and at the top of that list is ensuring a smooth handover to
Vanessa, who I’m sure will excel in the role.”
About Vanessa Hudson
Vanessa Hudson joined Qantas in 1994. Since then she has held a variety of senior commercial, customer
and finance roles across the Group, in Australia and overseas, including Executive Manager of Sales and
Distribution; Senior Vice President for Qantas across the Americas and New Zealand; Executive Manager
of Commercial Planning; and Executive Manager for Product and Service.
In these various roles her responsibilities ranged from sales channels, revenue management and network
planning, to transformation in catering, airports and network.
In February 2018, Vanessa was appointed to the role of Chief Customer Officer and became a member of
the Group Management Committee.
In October 2019, Vanessa became the Group’s Chief Financial Officer and held this portfolio through the
COVID crisis, when sudden border closures saw revenue evaporate in a matter of weeks. Careful
management through this period – including equity raising, debt raising and asset sales – saw the company
make it through the crisis and ultimately emerge with a stronger balance sheet than pre-COVID.
Vanessa has a Bachelor of Business and was admitted as a Member of the Institute of Chartered
Accountants in 1994. She lives in Sydney with her husband and two daughters.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 05 Oct 2016
Total posts 39
Goodbye and good riddance Alan. This company needs a fresh take on life. Let's just get back to running a great airline for your customers. Looking forward to Vanessa putting her stamp on it although I've tried reading up about her and can't find a lot that gives a guide on what will be her approach.
Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles
Member since 16 Oct 2017
Total posts 249
Dancing in the streets, Joyce is going. Better late than never, but I'm reminded of Oliver Cromwell's exhortation to the House of Commons in 1653: You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... In the name of God, go!"
Etihad - Etihad Guest
Member since 21 Jul 2019
Total posts 57
I will be civil and limit myself to saying that as a five-decade QANTAS customer (who has tracked the downward spiral in customer service), today is the most joyful of joyous days. And hopefully the start of a new direction in November, where the business 'holy trinity' of customers, workers, shareholders are all equally taken into account. Instead of just one group being privileged.
I sincerely hope one of the first things she does is sorts a real genuine arrangement with QR and scraps the EK agreement! Before it's locked in for another 5 years... I reckon QR is trying to turn DOH into a OW hub and QF should get on this bandwagon.
Member since 08 Dec 2014
Total posts 13
Originally Posted by MKS11
One major barrier for the new CEO to cross anyway is that she is a woman and Akbar is on record as saying that women do not have what it takes to be the CEO of an airline.
Originally Posted by Ozshanel
Well since you weirdly bring up human rights records, I think you'll find many airlines (possibly even flown by you?) are tainted by association with their govts (e.g. Turkish, Air China, Thai, Garuda, PAL, to name just a few from our broader region and is not comprehensive).
Go ahead and plant your flag, but be sure to live by your conviction, which is easier said than done, especially online. But so that you know, there are very few 'clean' airlines and cleaner govts out there. Not being sarcastic, just realistic enough (along with hundreds of millions others) not to base my travels needs on a holier-than-thou attitude. If I did that, there would be literally zero global airlines for me to fly to the places I need to get to. And Akbar is eccentric and says stupid stuff (a lot). He will do what he always does. That won't affect the new female CEO of QANTAS one bit, as she is one tough lady. I don't base my travel on what he says. I base it on the value QR offers me. They're a great airline, which is why I 'absolutely disagree' with you too.
Member since 07 Aug 2013
Total posts 159
Member since 05 May 2023
Total posts 1
Member since 09 May 2020
Total posts 183
Originally Posted by Dan22
Any more info on VA IPO circus being taken offline?
I am under the impression that Bain still interested to sell, unless either VA is still underperforming for the IPO prospectus or the other extreme, too good as a cash cow to completely let go (they still have to sell some part as returns to their investors) so they are figuring out how much they are willing to sell and whether they should keep some controlling stake.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on
New Qantas CEO announced
Already have an ET account? Log in below.
Signing up with Executive Traveller only takes a second and lets you
interact with our community. It's completely free and we'll never pass your information on to
Didn’t receive an activation email? Resend one to yourself here.
If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address
below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.
If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.
Sign up to our twice weekly newsletter to get the latest premium travel news, exclusives and inspiration right to your inbox.