Rob Sharp named permanent head of Virgin Australia airlines

Tiger stripes no more. Rob Sharp (centre) will run Virgin Australia airlines. (Tigerair Australia/James Morgan)
Tiger stripes no more. Rob Sharp (centre) will run Virgin Australia airlines. (Tigerair Australia/James Morgan)

Virgin Australia has made Rob Sharp’s move from Tigerair Australia to head office a permanent one.

On Thursday, Sharp was named group executive for Virgin Australia airlines, having held the post in an acting capacity since June following the sudden departure of John Thomas.

Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti said in a note to staff seen by Australian Aviation Sharp was chosen to run the day-to-day operations of the airline following an extensive internal and global search.

“Rob is an experienced senior aviation executive, having held a number of executive positions in the Australian airline industry over the past 20 years,” Borghetti said.

“Rob has a wealth of commercial expertise including specialist experience in operating in a multi-brand environment, he is backed by strong operational credentials and has a track record of innovation.”

Sharp began as chief executive of Tigerair Australia in May 2013 and has overseen an improvement in the Virgin Australia-owned low-cost carrier’s (LCC) on-time performance and customer satisfaction amid network expansion.

However, Tigerair Australia was also forced to withdraw permanently from Bali under his watch after reaching an impasse with Indonesia regulators over flying permits to operate to the popular tourist destination.

Tigerair Australia executive manager flight operations Peter Wilson would remain as the LCC’s acting chief executive while the search for Sharp’s permanent replacement was onging.

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia has also given Danielle Keighery an expanded role as group executive for brand, marketing and public affairs.

The new position adds customer and partner marketing, customer and relationship management (CRM) and business marketing, and strategy to Keighery’s existing responsibilities for public affairs.

“I’m sure you’ll join me in congratulating Rob and Danielle and supporting them in their roles as we continue working together on our goals,” Borghetti said.

Comments

  1. Jack says

    More “me too” from Virgin, Danielle Keighery’s “expanded role as group executive for brand, marketing and public affairs” is exactly the same as the position granted to Qantas’ uber-spinner Olivia Wirth last month!