Virgin Australia CEO assembles her executive team

Virgin Australia has brought a swathe of new faces into its executive team under the helm of new chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka.

Six new faces have joined the carrier with only three executives from the previous administration retained.

“You’re only as good as the team around you and having a strong team and the right structure and the energy to write the next chapter in a business like Virgin Australia is essential,” she told The Australian.

Former airline executives joining the team include Jetstar Japan co-CEO Nick Rohrlach who has been appointed Velocity CEO; former Qantas executive Paul Jones who is chief customer and digital officer; and International Airlines Group director of strategy Alistair Hartley who has taken on the role of chief transformation officer.

The other new executives include Arnott’s vice-president of corporate affairs Moksha Watts who is now chief corporate affairs officer; Woolworths chief operating officer David Marr who will become the carrier’s chief financial officer; and A2 Milk Company chief people, safety and sustainability officer Lisa Burquest, who has been appointed chief people officer.

Chief commercial officer John MacLeod plans to retire but will continue until a replacement is found, while Cameron Stone, Dayna Field and Keith Neate will leave the company.

Hrdlicka said the new roles were “a once in a lifetime opportunity”.

“We’ve got an iconic brand, it’s had some trouble, it’s just come out of administration and it needs to be rebuilt, in an industry that is in fact needing to be rebuilt,” Hrdlicka told The Australian.

“It’s quite a nice combination. We’ve got deep aviation expertise, we’ve got some good regional expertise and good global expertise in the industry.”