The Board of Qantas Airways Limited today announced a series of changes in relation to senior management of the airline including succession plans on the retirement next year of Chief Executive Officer, James Strong.
Chairman, Margaret Jackson, announced that Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Gary Toomey, had resigned from Qantas today and Peter Gregg, currently Deputy Chief Financial Officer, has been appointed Chief Financial Officer, reporting to the CEO. Peter Gregg has also been appointed an Executive Director of Qantas Airways Limited, effective today. Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Dixon, would become Chief Executive Officer when Mr Strong retired next year as previously announced.
Ms Jackson said executive succession was a key element of the Board’s strategic planning, designed to provide an orderly process when management changes occurred.
“The depth of experience at senior levels in Qantas has enabled the Board to plan a smooth succession to a new era, she said. “In making these decisions the Board is fortunate in terms of continuity, depth of experience and talent within the airline’s management.”
Ms Jackson said the Board was extremely grateful for the continuing inspirational leadership and dedication of James Strong as CEO of Qantas and his confirmed commitment to Qantas until the second half of next year when he will have served as CEO for 8 years.
“There will be a smooth transition because James and Geoff are committed to Qantas and they have a close professional relationship as a result of working together over many years,” she said. James Strong and Geoff Dixon have known each other for almost 30 years and worked together in the mining and aviation industries in the Northern Territory, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney. Geoff Dixon’s extensive aviation experience and his role as head of the airline’s commercial division for six years have been significant factors in the positioning of Qantas as a leading global carrier. This will serve him well in his new role next year.”
Ms Jackson said that Peter Gregg, who had worked with Qantas (and previously Australian Airlines) for more than 12 years, had been directly involved in all aspects of the finance functions in his previous role as Deputy CFO.
“In particular he has had responsibility for investor relations, has well-established relationships in that area and is highly regarded by the finance community and the Board. Peter Gregg has achieved outstanding results with his Treasury team in fuel hedging over recent years. The Board has been addressing succession changes for some time and the first stage was the announcement in April this year that Gary Pemberton was retiring as chairman, and my appointment effective 1 August,” Ms Jackson said.
“The planning included advice from James Strong when renewing his contract in March that he would be retiring during 2001.”
Ms Jackson said there would be adjustment to the reporting line of some executive roles progressively in the coming weeks.