Qantas chair Richard Goyder is resisting calls to step down following the surprise early exit of CEO Alan Joyce.
Goyder, who has served as Qantas chair since 2018, told The Australian he is “fully committed” to continuing on and overseeing the transition to new CEO Vanessa Hudson, who was originally to take up the position following November’s AGM.
“I will get to work on these things, and we’ll do what we need to do. And I think my role in that is pretty important,” he said.
Goyder said that the decision to leave had been Joyce’s, concurring with the outgoing CEO’s statement earlier today that the airline needed to “move ahead with its renewal”.
“He spoke to the board last night, and he felt we needed a bit of a circuit breaker. It probably went against all his instincts – because he’s a very determined individual,” said Goyder.
“But he and the board agree that Vanessa is ready and her team and Alan feels that to give her a bit of clear air and frankly, in the interest of the airline, it’s the right thing to do.”
“He’s always been a courageous CEO and this has been a decision that he won’t have liked making, but he’s made for the right reasons.”
ALP Senator Tony Sheldon, a former secretary of the TWU and long-time critic of Qantas, earlier today called for Goyder’s resignation in the wake of Joyce’s departure, which followed a string of negative headlines for the Flying Kangaroo.
“The Board has backed Joyce’s behaviour at every step and must be held equally accountable for the disgraceful state of the company,” said Sheldon.
Joyce will hand over the reins to CFO Hudson as of Wednesday 6 September. Qantas’s current executive of strategy, people and technology, Rob Marcolina, will take over as CFO.