Qantas appoints new Chairman

Photo: Qantas Airbus A380. Photo Credit: Qantas

Australian national carrier Qantas, is making significant changes to its management Board, with the announcement of two new board members, including a new Chairman.

This move is part of Qantas’ ongoing transformation efforts and might be seen as an opportunity for the Group to reset itself operationally and culturally.

The top end restructure is a crucial aspect of corporate governance essential for steering the company through its present challenges and prevailing market conditions and challenges.

John Mullen’s Appointment

John Mullen, a seasoned figure in the corporate world, is set to join the Qantas Board as a Non-Executive Director and Chairman Elect from 1 July 2024.

With a distinguished career spanning leadership roles in large and complex companies within the transport sector, both domestically and internationally, Mullen brings a wealth of experience to Qantas.

His appointment as Chairman reflects the company’s strategic vision for the next phase of its development.

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Photo Credit: Qantas Instagram

Dr. Nora Scheinkestel’s Appointment

Joining alongside Mullen is Dr. Nora Scheinkestel, appointed as a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Remuneration Committee, effective from 1 March 2024.

Dr. Scheinkestel’s extensive experience in corporate governance, with over 25 years serving on numerous boards across leading utilities, finance, and logistics firms, positions her as a valuable addition to Qantas’ boardroom.

Her appointment underscores the company’s commitment to ensuring robust governance frameworks and regulatory compliance.

Reasons Behind the Appointments

These appointments come following the retirement of long-serving directors Maxine Brenner and Jacqueline Hey, highlighting Qantas’ strategic approach to board renewal and succession planning.

The retirement of current Chairman, Richard Goyder, further emphasizes the significance of these changes in transitioning leadership seamlessly.

By refreshing its board composition, Qantas aims to leverage diverse perspectives and expertise to navigate the evolving landscape of the aviation industry effectively.

Qantas Group Head Office building in Mascot, Sydney.
Kgbo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Comments from Richard Goyder

Richard Goyder, outgoing Chairman of Qantas, acknowledges the importance of the board renewal process in guiding the company through transformative periods.

He expresses confidence in the new appointments, citing Mullen’s extensive experience and Dr. Scheinkestel’s regulatory acumen as instrumental in driving Qantas towards its strategic objectives.

“John brings a wealth of experience as a director and chairman of similarly large and complex companies to Qantas, as well as great depth from his long executive career in the transport sector both here and overseas.”

“Nora is one of the most seasoned company directors in the country, with more than 25 years’ experience on numerous boards across leading utilities, finance and logistics firms as well as her deep knowledge of regulatory matters.”

Goyder acknowledged the significant efforts and contributions of retiring long-serving directors Maxine Brenner and Jacqueline Hey, who will step down after the company’s half year results tomorrow.

“On behalf of their fellow Board members, I’d like to recognise the huge contribution that Maxine and Jacquie have both made during their 10 years on the Qantas Board, particularly during the unprecedented challenges we faced during the pandemic and in restarting the airline.”

A Qantas jet passes overhead.
Photo Credit: Qantas

Comments from John Mullen

Upon his appointment, John Mullen expresses his enthusiasm for taking on the role of Chairman, recognizing Qantas’ esteemed reputation and its potential for future growth.

He emphasizes his dedication to steering the company towards service and performance excellence, leveraging his experience to uphold Qantas’ legacy as one of the world’s leading airlines.

 “Qantas has consistently featured as one of the world’s very best airlines, and now that the pandemic is behind us and the airline industry gets back closer to normal, I have every confidence that Qantas will continue to excel. I am honoured to become a part of this journey,” said Mullen

Comments from Dr. Nora Scheinkestel

Dr. Nora Scheinkestel reflects on the significance of joining the Qantas Board, emphasizing the airline’s iconic status.

“Qantas holds an iconic place not only in the Australian economy but in our society. It is a great privilege to join the Board and I look forward to working with my fellow directors and management to see Qantas build on its important history.”

Dr. Scheinkestel’s remarks underscore the board’s commitment to upholding Qantas’ heritage while driving innovation and growth.

The appointment of John Mullen as Chairman and Dr. Nora Scheinkestel as a Non-Executive Director represents a pivotal moment in the national carrier’s trajectory.

With a renewed focus on governance excellence and strategic leadership, Qantas seeks to overcome the current challenges and move itself forward.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 6 Min Read
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