Cosgrove Retirement: Qantas Needs a Board with Aviation Skills

Release date: 29/01/2014

Transport Workers Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon today urged Qantas to go beyond replacing Peter Cosgrove on its Board, with a wholesale cleanout of Board members without hands-on aviation experience.

General Cosgrove is retiring from the Qantas Board to take up the position of Governor General.
Mr Sheldon said he supported calls by the Pilots Association for General Cosgrove’s replacement to be someone with direct aviation experience.
“Qantas is a great company with bad management,” Mr Sheldon said.
“The current Board includes three bankers, two miners and a tobacco executive, but no one who has worked in day-to-day airline services.
“It’s time for an employee representative, be that a pilot and engineer or a member of the ground staff - someone with direct experience in operating its planes.”
Mr Sheldon said after fifteen years of private ownership, Qantas was in economic crisis.
“Its share price has halved since 2009, to its lowest level since the 1990’s. It faces a half-year loss of $300m and 1000 more jobs to go this year.
“Yet executive pay has increased 82% since 2010.
“Qantas needs better management to fix its financial woes.
“A new board with direct industry experience would be an important step forward.”
The Qantas Board currently has nine members, including some who have held Board and similar positions in airline head offices but none who have worked in or on planes. Principal qualifications for the majority of the Qantas Board are in non-aviation fields including banking, mining, tobacco and law.

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