CFO, Vanessa Hudson appointed as next Qantas CEO

Qantas Group has today announced the appointment of Vanessa Hudson as the next CEO and Managing Director, effective November 2023, taking over from the current CEO Alan Joyce, who will retire at the end of his 15-year tenure. Ms Hudson is currently serving as the Group’s Chief Financial Officer and has been associated with Qantas for 28 years in various executive positions, including Chief Customer Officer and Senior Vice President for Qantas across the Americas and New Zealand.

The announcement comes after a rigorous selection process, and Chairman Richard Goyder highlighted the depth of talent within the organization that will support Ms Hudson as she transitions into her new role. “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,” said Mr Goyder.

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 2023 Annual General Meeting. The Qantas Group will make an announcement on a new CFO in the coming months.

Vanessa Hudson, Qantas CFO & CEO Designate Photo credit: Qantas

Ms Hudson expressed her excitement about the new role, stating, “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 also paid tribute to the leadership of Alan Joyce, who has been instrumental in driving the success of the airline, including the restructuring of the company and overcoming multiple challenges, such as the global financial crisis, record oil prices, intense competitive pressures, and most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. “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, who extended his time as CEO to see through the COVID recovery plan, said, “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.” With a clear strategy, a strong balance sheet, and record profitability, the Qantas Group is well positioned for continued success under the leadership of Ms Hudson.