ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

Despite being the architect of Qantas’ spiral into reputational obscurity, Alan Joyce had the manners to accept the fact it was time to go and did so without being asked to leave.

Whether it be his South Dublin street smarts or just good old-fashioned surrender, Mr. Joyce’s departure from Qantas meant the foolish company now had a chance to make amends with customers, apologize to the workers they illegally sacked during the pandemic, and begin the hard road back from being just an expensive Jetstar to an airline that people would want to use by choice again.

“We’ve changed our ways,” said the airline’s new CEO, Vanessa Hudson, earlier this week during a Sydney press conference.

“Come back.”

After saying that, the Board greenlit a new remuneration package for Chairman Richard Goyder, who is refusing to step down because it’s a sweet job that requires him to be accountable and responsible for ensuring the business both functions well and creates a return for investors.

Goyder is currently chairman of Qantas, Woodside Petroleum, and the AFL, so unless he’s getting mate’s rates on some Jet A-1 from Woodside, it’s probably time for Big Dick to do less.

When you are the chairman of a company, it’s your nuts on the anvil. You’re responsible for what happens, along with the CEO that you and the rest of the board agree will make you look good. When you do things that are wrong or things just go wrong and you mismanage the response, you run the risk of having your nuts hit with a hammer.

Richard’s nuts were right next to Alan’s on the anvil when the hammer of corporate justice clanged down. That time, the hammer hit Alan’s nuts, and he did the right thing and took them off the anvil.

Another hammer is on the way in the form of a $100,000 pay rise for Chairman Goyder. Of all the people to get one, of all the times to get one. That’s on the back of the airline announcing that higher fuel costs due to the ongoing war in Ukraine, the spicy cough, Russian sanctions and embargoes, Saudi and OPEC, blah blah blah.

Time will tell if the hammer comes down and clangs the Chairman that oversaw Qantas’ death knell.

More to come.


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