Incoming Qantas boss unveils management team ahead of new era

Soon-to-be-minted Qantas boss Vanessa Hudson has nominated her executive team, appointing her own replacement as chief financial officer and creating two new key senior roles at the airline as she prepares to take the mantle from Alan Joyce in November.

The changes mean Hudson will have 13 direct reports, half of them in new positions. The new appointments – which include new leaders charged with Qantas’s domestic and customer divisions – will begin transitioning to their roles next month.

Getting her ducks in a row: Incoming Qantas chief executive Vanessa Hudson.
Getting her ducks in a row: Incoming Qantas chief executive Vanessa Hudson. Credit: Rhett Wyman

Rob Marcolina – the group’s current strategy, people, and technology head – will succeed Hudson as finance chief, while customer chief Markus Svensson will take over from Andrew David to lead the airline’s lucrative domestic arm. Catriona Larrit will become the new chief customer and digital officer.

Former Air New Zealand executive Cameron Wallace was appointed to lead the carrier’s international division earlier this year.

All of the executives appointed on Wednesday were already employed in senior positions at Qantas. Hudson said this enabled a level of continuity crucial to the airline’s business.

“The structural changes announced today are about increasing our focus on a few key areas as we move from recovery to growth, especially when it comes to things that matter most to our people and our customers,” she said.

The airline has also announced the creation of two new roles: chief people officer and chief risk officer.

While the chief risk officer’s role will be filled by Andrew Monaghan, who currently oversees safety at the group and has formerly worked as its chief operating officer, it’s unclear yet who will become chief people officer, overseeing industrial relations and human resources. This role is bound to be crucial to the company, which has spent much of the past two years embroiled in staff disputes.


“We have a lot of expansion planned in the years ahead and that will translate into thousands of new frontline jobs and millions of hours of training,” Hudson said.

“Keeping our team engaged and supporting them to deliver for our customers is critical, and so is the dedicated chief people officer role.”

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