Brettless Virgin

Virgin Blue CEO Brett Godfrey announced his retirement (stepping down, calling quits) along with a forecast $165 million loss and heavily-discounted $231m capital raising. After ten years at the controls it’s understandable, but of course there is no connection between those events, and nobody was pushed .

As always on these occasions, one has been thinking about it for some time and personal reasons for leaving are banal: ”..to have some other discussion around our dinner table other than airlines.” Reported elsewhere as aeroplanes around the kitchen table, that means monotonous conversations at both ends of the day. The poor man is lucky to have anyone at home listening at all.

Chairman Chatfield said that an announcement of succession plans was prudent with a major capital raising. Fair enough, except there are no succession plans. He could only confirm that indeed “Brett has been thinking about this for some time” so presumably they shared the thought process. Plans to find a successor are in preliminary stages – internal & external candidates could be considered.

A succession plan would throw up some names, as for example, when Geoff Dixon parachuted from Qantas and several underlings canvassed immediately.

Amazing how some companies fall into Orwellspeak when heads change.

(Declaration of pecuniary interest: POH holds Qantas shares, no Virgin Blue)

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