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Factbox-Long-serving Qantas executive Vanessa Hudson named as next CEO

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia’s flagship carrier, Qantas Airways Ltd, on Tuesday named its finance chief Vanessa Hudson to serve as its new chief executive starting in November, making her the first woman to lead the century-old airline.

Here are key facts about the Australian businesswoman.

*Hudson is a trained accountant who has worked at Qantas since 1994 in several roles and lives in Sydney with her husband and two daughters.

*She started as chief financial officer in October 2019, just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the travel industry globally.

*In March 2020, under her leadership, Qantas secured $628 million of debt funding against its aircraft fleet to help strengthen its financial position, moving faster than most carriers to shore up capital to deal with the plunge in demand.

*In June 2020 she led a $1.3 billion capital raising to help see the airline through the pandemic, the carrier’s first equity raising in more than a decade.

*She has also overseen the airline’s fleet replacement and expansion plans as part of her role as chief financial officer, including a multi-billion dollar order for Airbus SE jets placed last year.

*Hudson managed the airline’s balance sheet effectively as demand rebounded, with Qantas announcing a surprise $276 million share buyback in August 2022 after debt fell below its targeted range.

*In recent months, Hudson was seen as a likely candidate to succeed Joyce, who had led the airline since 2008.


(Compiled by Jamie Freed. Editing by Gerry Doyle)


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