Virgin management restructure sees executive departure

May 08, 2019
Virgin Australia

New Virgin Australia chief executive Paul Scurrah has wasted little time putting his stamp on the airline group with a corporate restructure that has prompted the departure of group executive Rob Sharp.

Sharp, a former Qantas executive who joined Virgin seven years ago to head Tigerair Australia before becoming group executive, departs the group May 10 after his position was eliminated.

It has been replaced by the dual roles of chief commercial officer and chief operations officer and a global recruitment process is underway.

This is similar to the structure at the airline before 2016 when then chief executive John Borghetti restructured management and introduced John Thomas as group executive

This is the second major change announced by Scurrah since taking over the top job six weeks ago from his predecessor.

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He announced on April 30 that he would push back deliveries of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft until 2021.

A deal negotiated with manufacturer Boeing saw 15 orders converted from the controversial MAX 8 to the bigger MAX 10 aircraft and deliveries of the MAX 10 brought forward.

A global recruitment process is underway to fill the new roles which are being filled in the meantime by insiders Merren McArthur and Stuart Aggs.

The highly-respected McArthur is currently the chief executive of Tigerair Australia and will be acting chief commercial officer.

She previously led alliances and revenue management, launched the airline’s cargo operations and headed Virgin Australia Regional Airlines.

Aggs will act in the COO role. He was previously head of safety and is seen as having the right operational expertise for the new job.

The restructure came after a two-day offsite leadership meeting to map out a path for the airline.

Scurrah said prior to the meeting that it would look at potential “quick wins” and what could be done to make the group stronger.