Former Jetstar boss Hrdlicka resigns from Qantas Group to head up dairy company

Jetstar group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka with Commonwealth Games gold medalists Kim Mickle (discus) and Dani Samuels (javelin). (Jetstar)
A file image of former Jetstar group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka with Commonwealth Games athletes. (Jetstar)

Former Jetstar Group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka has resigned from the Qantas Group, where she currently serves as chief executive of Qantas Loyalty, to head up dairy business The a2 Milk Company.

Hrdlicka joined Qantas in 2010 as group executive of strategy and technology before being appointed as CEO of Jetstar in 2012.

“Jayne has made a tremendous contribution to the Qantas Group, and particularly to Jetstar, over the past seven years,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement on Thursday.

“Jetstar is now one of the world’s leading low-cost carriers and has delivered a series of record profits. Jayne has been instrumental in the expansion of Jetstar in Asia and she leaves with our best wishes for her next challenge.”

Hrdlicka became CEO of Qantas Loyalty on November 1 this year as part of a management reshuffle at the Qantas Group that saw former Qantas International chief Gareth Evans take on the Jetstar CEO role.

Qantas says a decision on replacement for Hrdlicka as Qantas Loyalty CEO is expected to be made “in due course next year”. She will remain in the role until she leaves the Group in March.

The Australian and New Zealand listed a2 Milk Company told the the ASX and NZX stock exchanges on Thursday afternoon that Hrdlicka would succeed Geoffrey Babidge as the company’s managing director and CEO. A2 is one of the dairy industry’s fastest growing companies and last month won the Deloitte Top 200 companies of the Year award in New Zealand.

“I am delighted to be joining the very talented and accomplished team at The a2 Milk Company as their new CEO,” Hrdlicka said.

“This is a strong and principled company with significant opportunity ahead and impressive momentum in each of its core markets. I look forward to working with Geoff to ensure we maintain his strong legacy through the transition.”

Comments

  1. AlanH says

    Airlines to dairy? Wot the …? Just goes to prove that our airlines are not run by flying buffs but just hard-headed business administrators who no doubt make their decisions for $$$ reasons. It’s just another business after all. Bums on seats = dollars earned. Who cares about the flying experience?

  2. Bill from QLD says

    I believe that you are correct AlanH , nice to see someone finally write about this topic . The key to being successful whenever we look back at our airline history seemed to be always strongly linked to the passion that everyone in the industry had and management were no exception, they played a big part . Stories from the previous Ansett / Australian Airlines who were both also highly successful on international destinations as well and we are reminded just how much those who also managed were committed to and truly loved their airline, very much about togetherness and togetherness with fellow workers , not ” them and us ” 🙂 . The friendly airline employee service is still there today, a true natural resource no doubt ! , while at the same time the focus on the monetary side by management while being very important is sadly the only thing thing they have to talk about . On delivery day of the arrival of a new aircraft type , a management statement once again ” a replacement new aircraft with better economics ” that once again is so obvious , its all they know , ” bean counters ” as some call them . Qantas took over as a domestic carrier over 20 years and although it is profitable as well , it still shows still that it can’t achieve similar morale and passion at the same time like our other 2 great airlines did naturally … that’s why they were loved 🙂

  3. says

    Jayne was definitely shafted, demoted from JQ CEO to Loyalty was a sideways and downwards move..
    Dont know the lady atall but good on her getting out of that QF elite and nasty bunch.

  4. James says

    @ Alan

    Craigy has it spot on. Money making businesses. If they aren’t run by money conscious people, they fall apart very quickly.

    @ Bill from QLD

    You’ll open a can of worms there. Australian (TAA) and Ansett. Yep, greet people working for them.

    BUT, they operated in a REGULATED industry for most of their existences. Australian was GOV owned, can’t say money would have been that big of an issue (to them anyway). When you’re not concerned about money, you would indulge in all these passenger experiences that were realistically quite unsustainable.

    Ansett. Yep, great carrier. There are numerous articles on the financial stability of the airline. Poorly financially managed for many years made the show untenable. Unfortunately no amount of employee love would have saved it.

    I know for a fact that there is still a great amount of passion for those that work in the aviation game.

    But our financial world has changed and the rewards that were once there are no longer. You can’t expect people to cry over the carrier they work for any longer. That’s life.