The Chairman of Qantas Airways Limited, Ms Margaret
Jackson, today announced that Leigh Clifford would replace her as Chairman
of Qantas when she retired at the conclusion of the Qantas AGM in November
Mr Clifford will fill a casual non-executive Director vacancy on the
Qantas Board with immediate effect.
“My fellow Directors and I are pleased that someone of Leigh’s
international standing has accepted our invitation to join the Qantas
“I am personally delighted to be passing the mantle of Qantas Chairman
to someone of Leigh’s calibre and look forward to working closely with
Leigh to ensure a smooth transition on my retirement,” Ms Jackson said.
Mr Clifford stepped down from the board of Rio Tinto and retired as
Chief Executive on 30 April 2007.
His executive and board career with Rio Tinto has spanned some 37 years,
including positions as Director of Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Limited
for 13 and 12 years respectively. Mr Clifford also occupied a wide
variety of operational and marketing roles in the coal and metalliferous
operations of the Group in Australia and overseas.
“As Chief Executive Officer of Rio Tinto plc since April 2000, Leigh has
led the company through a period of significant growth, including a
number of important acquisitions and the consolidation of Rio Tinto’s
position in Asia,” Ms Jackson said.
Mr Clifford has served as a non-executive director of Barclays Bank plc
since October 2004 and was appointed to the Bechtel Board of Counselors
in May 2007. He was formerly a member of the Coal Industry Advisory
Board of the International Energy Agency for a number of years and its
Chairman from 1998 to 2000. He was also previously a director of
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.
Mr Clifford holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Engineering
Science from the University of Melbourne.
Mr Clifford said that he was honoured to be selected as the new Chairman
“I have watched the aviation industry and Qantas over the years and have
great admiration for Qantas and the team at Qantas. I have given the
invitation a great deal of thought and am enthusiastic about working
with Margaret Jackson, the Board and management through a smooth
transition period and leading the Board as its Chairman from November,”
Mr Clifford said.
Mr Clifford will return to Australia permanently in November, after
completing his commitments with Rio Tinto.