Goyder accepts it’s over, joins rush to the door as Qantas faces leadership clean out

Qantas chair Richard Goyder has announced he will retire early as he became victim of the rolling series of disasters impacting the airline that also led to the early retirement of chief executive Alan Joyce.

Oct 11, 2023, updated Oct 11, 2023
Qantas chair Richard Goyder has announced his departure from the board

Qantas chair Richard Goyder has announced his departure from the board

Qantas said Goyder would retire before the annual general meeting in late 2024 but was not specific on when that would be. But he won’t be alone.

Qantas said directors Jacqueline Hay and Maxine Brenner would also retire at the company’s half year results in February. Fellow director Michael L’Estrange had previously announced his retirement.

It admitted the reasons were part of a board renewal “in recognition of the reputational issues facing the group and to support the restoration of trust in the company”.

Qantas has been hit with damaging revelations about accepting bookings on flights that had already been cancelled, its refusal to pay back JobSeeker funds despite a $2 billion profit, Alan Joyce’s remuneration, its apparent power in Canberra and its performance since the reopening of borders.

Unions, pilots and investors have all called for Goyder’s departure.

Three new directors would offer themselves for election to the board: Doug Parker, Dr heather Smith and managing director Vanessa Hudson. Existing directors Todd Sampson and Belinda Hutchinson would also be up for re-election.

Goyder said the board acknowledged the “significant reputational and customer service issues” Qantas had faced. He said accountability was required to rebuild trust.

“Qantas has gone though an incredibly difficult period since our operation was grounded during the pandemic. The recovery has not been easy and mistakes were made,” he said.

“We again apologise for those times where we got it wrong.

“I have always sought to act in the best interests of Qantas.

“Measured and orderly succession at board level will support the important work underway led by Vanessa (Hudson) and her new management team.

“Fundamentally, the group is in a very strong position to overcome its current challenges and deliver for all its stakeholders in the years ahead.”

Qantas has already started the search for new directors and was reviewing its governance.”

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