Qantas appoints new head of International

May 01, 2019
Photo: Steve Creedy.

Qantas has moved to appoint chief financial officer Tino La Spina as the chief executive officer of its international arm after the surprise resignation of his predecessor, Alison Webster.

The change came as group chief executive Alan Joyce revealed he would stay on until 2022 at the request of the board.

The news put paid to speculation he would leave after the Qantas centenary next year and will please shareholders.

Joyce, who took over at Qantas in 2008, has always maintained he enjoys the job and would stay on as long shareholders and the board wanted him.

The latest executive reshuffle will take place on October 1 to allow La Spina to close out the current financial year through to annual reporting.

He will be replaced as CFO by the group’s current chief customer officer, Vanessa Hudson, who will become CFO-designate and will work closely with La Spina to ensure a smooth handover.

READ: Head of Qantas International in abrupt departure.

Narendra Kumar will remain acting chief executive at International while the CFO transition is completed.

The airline said a process to appoint a replacement chief customer officer would start shortly and all three roles would continue to report to Qantas group chief executive Alan Joyce.

“These changes show the depth of talent in our Group executive team, and a large part of that comes from our practice of giving people exposure in different areas across a diverse portfolio of businesses,’’ Joyce said.

“Vanessa started with Qantas 24 years ago in finance and audit, before moving to senior roles in inflight services, commercial planning, sales and distribution, and regional head of Qantas in the US. It means she brings a deep understanding of our business as well as a strong background in finance to the role of CFO.

“Tino has been with Qantas for 13 years in a series of senior finance roles, which has given him a detailed understanding of what drives results in each part of the Group.

“There is a lot of positive momentum across the Qantas Group. We have a great executive team in place and I look forward to working with them over the years ahead as we deliver for our customers and shareholders.”

La Spina began his career in aviation with Ansett as a financial and commercial manager before moving the National Express group as CFO. He joined the Flying Kangaroo in 2006 as general manager strategy.

Hudson worked with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu before joining Qantas in 1994 as an internal audit supervisor.

Jetstar chief executive Gareth Evans, La Spina and Hudson are all seen as potential successors to Joyce if the board continues with the tradition of appointing internal candidates as CEO.