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Qantas says embattled chairman to retire by late 2024

Qantas chairman Richard Goyder will retire by late next year, the Australian carrier said Wednesday, in a boardroom “renewal” prompted by a slew of scandals that have battered its reputation. Goyder last month rejected calls for him to resign as the airline faced criticism over high ticket prices, illegal ground staff layoffs during the Covid-19 pandemic, and allegations it sold thousands of tickets for already-cancelled flights. The turbulence led former Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce to take early retirement on September 5. Goyder will now retire “prior to” the Qantas annual general meeting in late 2024, the airline said in statement, announcing a gradual boardroom “renewal” over the next year. “Qantas has gone through an incredibly difficult period since our operation was grounded during the pandemic,” Goyder said. “The recovery has not been easy, and mistakes were made. We again apologise for those times where we got it wrong.” The airline chairman said he had “always sought to act in the best interests of Qantas”, describing the board changes as “measured and orderly.” Qantas Group was fundamentally “in a very strong position to overcome its current challenges”, he said. Goyder said the new board would support the work of new chief executive Vanessa Hudson, who took over the airline following Joyce’s departure. Qantas said it had already started the process to appoint a new chairman and new non-executive directors. Changes over the next year — including the departure of two directors with a decade each in their posts — would result in a younger board with an average tenure of about three years, it said. Qantas said it had also started an independent review of “key governance matters”, with results expected in the second quarter of 2024.

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