New Qantas CEO has to go


The press is baying for blood at Qantas, rightly. It is focussed on chairman Richard Goyder:

Qantas chairman Richard Goyder oversaw the airline while it engaged it shocking corporate conduct and at some point the board must be responsible for the management team it put in place, Senator Bridget McKenzie says.

Asked whether Goyder’s position was tenable, McKenzie said he had “overseen some egregious behaviour from his company”.


The Transport Workers Union says Qantas chairman Richard Goyder will have “nowhere to hide” at the upcoming Senate Inquiry into the national carrier, claiming the Qantas board has been in denial about the airline’s decision to sack workers being both illegal and damaging to safety, brand and customers.


Almost 80 per cent of readers surveyed by The Australian Financial Review believe that Qantas chairman Richard Goyder should resign and that former chief executive Alan Joyce should be stripped of his bonuses following a string of controversies involving the airline.



Qantas chairman Richard Goyder faces a fresh battle to keep his job after a leading industry group called for his dismissal over a board decision to engage Boston Consulting Group to reset the airline’s relationship with customers.

Goyder must resign. No doubt about it.

But what about new CEO Vanessa Hudson? Why is the same press going easy on her? 

Vanessa Hudson, however, will need to employ a very different strategy to lure Qantas staff and customers who have fallen out of love with the airline.

She has also received a bit of advice from unions. The Transport Workers’ Union won a long legal battle with Qantas last week which upheld the view of lower courts that the airline illegally outsourced 1700 ground handling jobs during the pandemic. It called for the resignation of Qantas chairman Richard Goyder.

Err, Hudson is the former CFO. Illegal cost fiddles like sacking workers, unpaid credits, and alleged frauds such as selling non-existent tickets were her direct purview.

It is also Hudson as CEO who is employing Boston Consulting, not the chairman.


I don’t know if there is some gender double standard underway but, regardless, Hudson must also resign immediately.

About the author
David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal. He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.