Vanessa Hudson will become the first female chief executive of Qantas when she takes the reins from Alan Joyce in November.
Educated at the University of Technology in Sydney, Hudson has risen
through the ranks after joining Qantas in 1994 as an internal audit
She held various jobs, including chief customer officer, before being appointed group financial officer in 2019.
For the past five years Hudson has had a direct hand in shaping
Qantas strategy as a member of the group management committee. She also
led the fleet selection process in 2022 for the renewal of Qantas’s
domestic jet aircraft fleet.
Joyce praised his successor, saying, “There are not many female CEOs
in the worldwide aviation industry and it’s a credit to this country
that a gay Irish man was appointed 15 years ago to be CEO of the company
and now we have the first female and it’s a credit to the board.”
Qantas chairman Richard Goyder said in a statement, “Vanessa has a
deep understanding of this business after almost three decades in a
range of roles both onshore and offshore, across commercial, customer
and finance. She has a huge amount of airline experience and she’s an
Hudson’s rival in Australia will be Virgin Australia chief executive,
Jayne Hrdlicka, who held leadership roles at Qantas Group for nearly a
decade, including CEO of Jetstar Group.