Qantas appoints first female CEO to replace Alan Joyce

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Qantas Group's chief financial officer Vanessa Hudson will step up as CEO in November.

Qantas Group chief financial officer Vanessa Hudson has been picked to replace Alan Joyce when he steps down as CEO in November.

Hudson joined Qantas in 1994 and will become the first female CEO in the carrier’s 103-year history.

“It’s an absolute honour to be asked to lead the national carrier,” Hudson said.

“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.”

Qantas Chairman Richard Goyder said a “lot of thought” had gone into the succession planning after Joyce’s departure.

“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,” Goyder said.

“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.”