Qantas management reshuffle continues

Qantas CFO resigns three weeks after a successor is named for departed CEO Geoff Dixon.
Qantas AirwaysÆ chief financial officer Peter Gregg has announced his resignation amidst an executive leadership shift underway at the airline. GreggÆs departure comes only three weeks after the Qantas Group board chose JetStar boss Alan Joyce to succeed Geoff Dixon as CEO.

ôWith a new incoming CEO, I believe that signalling now my intention to step down from both my executive and non-executive roles is in the best interests of shareholders and the company," says Gregg in a statement. Prior to the choice of Joyce as DixonÆs successor in July, Gregg and Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti were widely believed to be top contenders for the job.

JoyceÆs choice as CEO does not come entirely as a surprise. As CEO of JetStar, QantasÆs low-cost subsidiary, since its inception in 2004, Joyce has disproved sceptics and successfully managed a low-cost ôairline within an airlineö after similar attempts by airlines in both the US and Europe failed.

According to Qantas GroupÆs fiscal year 2008 results, JetStarÆs passenger revenue was up 35.8% over 2007 at A$1.4 billion ($1.2 billion) as compared to QantasÆs 2.8% revenue growth for the same period.

Highlights of JoyceÆs leadership at JetStar include the launch of long-haul low-cost flights from Australia to Asia and Qantas GroupÆs acquisition of a 30% stake in VietnamÆs Pacific Airlines, since rebranded JetStar Pacific. JetStarÆs low-cost, long-haul operation is seen as a supplement to QantasÆs full-service operation in Asian, primarily leisure, markets.

With his expertise at operating successful low-cost, short- and long-haul operations, the Qantas Group board sees Joyce as the "best person to take Qantas forward in what is a very challenging environment". Already, Qantas has announced cuts to its Asia schedule due to rising fuel prices.

GreggÆs departure as CFO could signal additional leadership changes at the airline. Another potential departure is Borghetti who was also being considered for the CEO position.

Qantas deputy CFO Colin Storrie will replace Gregg as CFO effective September 30, 2008. StorrieÆs promotion is expected to maintain continuity within QantasÆ executive management team.
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