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Australian carrier Qantas Group is to promote Vanessa Hudson to become the company’s first female CEO.
Hudson, who has worked at Qantas for nearly 30 years, is currently the airline’s chief financial officer and will take over from CEO Alan Joyce when he retires in November 2023 after 15 years in the role.
Qantas chairman Richard Goyder said Hudson’s appointment follows a “rigorous” selection process and allows for a “smooth transition” over the next six months.
In the interim period, Hudson will continue in her current CFO role while also being CEO designate and joining the board. She will then take over as Qantas’ CEO at the annual general meeting in November.
“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,” added Goyder.
Joyce, who extended his time at Qantas’ helm to see the airline through its Covid-19 recovery plan, added that it was now a “logical time” to step down.