Virgin Australia has named former investment banker Elizabeth Bryan as the successor to outgoing chairman Neil Chatfield.
Bryan is currently the chairman of Caltex Australia and on the board of Westpac Banking Corporation and Insurance Australia Group. Previously, Bryan was also chairman of UniSuper.
The incoming Virgin director also had about 30 years experience in the financial services industry, including as chief executive of Deutsche Asset Management Australia. In 1992 Bryan became the first woman in Australia to run a large financial firm when appointed as general manager of the NSW Super and Investment Management Corporation.
Virgin said on Tuesday Bryan was chosen from a strong field of candidates and her board and management experience meant she had a “deep understanding of governance and working with investors and large corporate shareholders”.
Her appointment had the unanimous support of the board, Virgin said.
“It is a privilege to be joining the Virgin Australia Group board as chairman,’’ Bryan said in a statement.
“Virgin Australia has transformed the aviation industry in Australia and I look forward to working with the board to continue to grow the business and enhance the return for shareholders, customers and employees”.
Bryan was due to take her seat on the board on May 20, which was Chatfield’s last day as a Virgin director.
Chatfield said he was leaving the company in a strong position.
“Elizabeth is an ideal replacement as chairman and I have full confidence that the skills and extensive experience she brings to the board will take the business to even greater heights,” Chatfield said.