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QANTAS: New head of international appointed. Potential replacement CEO?

QANTAS: New head of international appointed. Potential replacement CEO?

The SMH is reporting the appointment of Cam Wallace as the new head of the Qantas international division as from July 2023. This has immediately been speculated as adding spice to the question of who will succeed current CEO Alan Joyce.

Joyce has previously indicated that he will at least stay until the end of this year. My personal bet is that he will stay until Project Sunrise is launched, in late 2025 according to last week’s news about the First and Business cabins. Back in 2019 – pre-pandemic, the launch date was set to be in the first half of 2023 – so now really. Well, they don’t even have the aircraft yet.

Up until today’s appointment, speculation was over two candidates, chief financial officer Vanessa Hudson and the high profile head of loyalty, Olivia Wirth Cam Wallace as the new head of international is seen as the third potential candidate. He’ll need to prove his worth quickly if he is to be an active contestant if Joyce chooses to move on in 2023/24.

Wallaces CV includes a decade stint at Air New Zealand and heading up MediaWorks, NZ’s commercial radio network

a large airplane on the runway
New Appointee Cameron Wallace is ex Air New Zealand

Other Changes

There is some more shuffling about, summarised below:

  • Andrew David, current CEO of Qantas Domestic & International, retires in September 2023
  • The combination of Qantas Domestic and International will return as two separate divisions starting 1 July 2023.
  • Cameron Wallace, joins as CEO of Qantas International and Freight from 1 July 2023. He has a job ahead guiding Project Sunrise to its first flight in late 2025.
  • Andrew David retains CEO of Qantas Domestic until retirement in September 2023. Qantas has started the search for his replacement. An important appointment given Domestic is the biggest earner of the flying divisions.
a room with a bed and a tv
Proposed First Class on the Project Sunrise A350

2PAXfly Takeout

This is an important appointment. Putting to one side the hoo-ha about the competition to be Joyce’s successor, with the rollout of Project Sunshine, they need someone good in charge. Although the path has been set, with planes chosen, union agreements negotiated, test flights completed etc etc, there is still a lot to do, and a lot that can go wrong.

I have no personal knowledge of Mr Wallace, or his competence, abilities or otherwise, but let’s hope for the success of Project Sunrise, he is up to the job. Something going wrong with that Project Sunrise, along with the current reputational damage suffered by Qantas brand due to cancellations, high fares, extraordinary hold times at call centres and bad customer service, could be the biggest challenge the airline has faced.

1 Comment

  1. Bill

    My money is on Olivia Wirth


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