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Qantas has announced John Mullen will be the airline’s new chair

Eleanor Campbell NCA NewsWire
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Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Qantas has announced John Mullen will be the new chairman of the airline’s board, replacing Richard Goyder.

Mr Mullen, a former chair for Telstra, will join the board from July 1 as non-executive director and chairman elect, and will assume the role of chairman ahead of the company’s annual general meeting in October.

Dr Nora Scheinkestel will also join the Board from March 1 as a non-executive director and chair of the remuneration committee.

The new appointments comes as the airline continues to navigate the fallout of multiple public controversies, including an active investigation over allegations it illegally sold cancelled flight tickets and a pandemic-era lawsuit led by former employees.

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FILE PIX - NCA NewsWire Photos - 21 FEBRUARY, 2024: Qantas has announced two new board members, including a new Chairman, as part of its ongoing renewal. John Mullen will join the Qantas Board from 1 July 2024 as Non-Executive Director and Chairman Elect, and will assume the role of Chairman ahead of the Company’s Annual General Meeting this October. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Aaron Francis
Camera IconJohn Mullen was a former chair of Telstra. NCA NewsWire / Aaron Francis Credit: NCA NewsWire

It also follows the early retirement of long-serving former CEO Alan Joyce last September after the airline publicly apologised for falling service standards and poor reputational damage.

In a statement, outgoing chairman Mr Goyder said the new changes “reflect a new chapter” after an “intense period” for the airline which led to the early resignation Mr Joyce and his own decision to stand down.

“John brings a wealth of experience as a director and chairman of similarly large and complex companies to Qantas, as well as great depth from his long executive career in the transport sector both here and overseas,” Mr Goyder said in a statement.

“He is the right choice to lead the national carrier into its next phase.”

FILE PIX - NCA NewsWire Photos - 21 FEBRUARY, 2024: Qantas has announced two new board members, including a new Chairman, as part of its ongoing renewal. John Mullen will join the Qantas Board from 1 July 2024 as Non-Executive Director and Chairman Elect, and will assume the role of Chairman ahead of the Company’s Annual General Meeting this October. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Aaron Francis
Camera IconMr Mullen said he had every confidence the airline would excel. NCA NewsWire / Aaron Francis Credit: NCA NewsWire

Qantas is currently under investigation by Australia’s competition regulator over allegations it sold tickets for more than 8000 cancelled flights between May and July 2022.

The airline was also sued by former employees last year before the federal court found that it illegally fired nearly 1700 staff during the pandemic – despite posting a record $2.5bn profit during the same period.

Mr Mullen, who has chaired Telstra, Brambles and Telstra, said it was an “extraordinary privilege” to take up the chairmanship of the national carrier which he had admired for most of his life.

He said he looked forward to assisting the company’s new chief executive Vanessa Hudson in restoring the company’s reputation for “excellence”.

“I am conscious of the time commitment that this prestigious role requires and will be adjusting my other professional obligations to ensure that I can be fully focused on this exciting challenge,” he said.

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Camera IconNew Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson. NCA NewsWire / Luis Ascui Credit: News Corp Australia

“Qantas has consistently featured as one of the world’s very best airlines, and now that the pandemic is behind us and the airline industry gets back closer to normal, I have every confidence that Qantas will continue to excel,” he said.

“I am honoured to become a part of this journey.”

Dr Scheinkestel will said Qantas held an “iconic” place in Australian society and it was a great privilege to join the board.

“I look forward to working with my fellow directors and management to see Qantas build on its important history,” she said.

Qantas is due to report its half-year results on Wednesday with independent reviews into the company’s governance to be reported back by mid 2024

Originally published as Qantas has announced John Mullen will be the airline’s new chair

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