Qantas axes top CEO position

The chief executive of Qantas’ international business has fallen on his sword, as the premier airline takes a knife to its staff numbers in wake of the coronavirus financially wounding the aviation industry.

In an update provided to the Australian Stock Exchange on Monday, the airline said Tino La Spina, the chief executive of Qantas International would leave the group, as it continued to reduce the size of its business while COVID-19 grounds international travel.

Mr La Spina has been at the airline for 14 years and was the company’s chief financial officer prior to being appointed CEO of Qantas International.

Tino La Spina, the chief executive of Qantas International, will leave the group, as it continues to reduce the size of its business in the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAPSource:AAP

Qantas has previously flagged significant staff cutbacks following the onset of virus, with the airline permanently cutting 6000 jobs from its operational workforce.

On August 20, the airline posted a loss of $2.7 billion — the second worst in its 100-year history.

Qantas group chief executive Alan Joyce said the coronavirus crisis had forced the company to evaluate its operations, with the airline expected to be much smaller when normal travel conditions can resume.

“It’s increasingly clear that our international flights will be grounded until at least mid-2021 and it will take years for activity to return to what it was before,” he said.

“Under those circumstances, we’ve made the decision to consolidate the domestic and international business units under a single divisional CEO.”

Qantas group chief executive Alan Joyce with Tino La Spina (left). Picture: Dean Lewins/AAPSource:AAP

Mr La Spina’s responsibilities will transfer to Andrew David, who is the CEO of Qantas Domestic and its freight business.

The changes made to the executive team will take effect from September 1.

“Tino has done a superb job throughout his 14 years at Qantas,” Mr Joyce said on Monday.

“I know I speak for the rest of the executive team and for the board in thanking him sincerely for the huge contribution he has made, particularly as deputy CFO and then CFO for most of that time.”

In response to the pandemic, Qantas’ management team took three months of zero pay in the last quarter of the 2020 financial year, in a bid to minimise costs during the downturn.

Until November, Mr Joyce will cut his pay packet by 65 per cent while other executives will slash their salaries by 85 per cent.

Originally published asQantas axes top CEO position

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