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90% of Qantas investors back Joyce’s $4m incentive

written by Adam Thorn | November 7, 2022

Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce confirms the business will make 6,000 jobs redundant, or 20 per cent of its workforce

Alan Joyce’s controversial $4 million bonus package was backed by 90 per cent of investors voting at Qantas’ AGM on Friday.

It came despite reports that one of the three major ‘proxy firms’ told its members that the CEO’s targets weren’t “sufficiently challenging”.

The disagreement involved the shorter-term ‘executive retention scheme’, which targets include keeping Qantas’ net debt below a target level; cutting $1 billion of costs by June; and returning the wider company to profitability by the end of the current financial year.

Should those goals be met, Joyce would receive shares worth around $4 million at current prices.

On Monday, Qantas shares were trading at $5.97 — a post-pandemic high and more than double the company’s pandemic low of just $2.36.


Joyce’s bonus was controversial after the airline faced a string of problems in 2020, including huge delays at Easter, hours-long call wait times, and even a revelation that the cabin crew of a Qantas A330 were made to sleep across seats in economy.

Speaking at the AGM, Joyce acknowledged that for “several months this year”, Qantas wasn’t living up to the standards people “rightly expect”.

“There were too many flight delays, long call centre waits and mishandled bags,” he said.

“As I said in my message to millions of our Frequent Flyers in August, there were good reasons why this happened, but they weren’t good enough.

“Qantas’ performance improved hugely in August and kept improving in September. Today, we’ve released figures that show we were firmly back to pre-COVID levels of service in October – and in some cases, better.”

The vote of faith in the chief executive came after chairman Richard Goyder said at the AGM that Joyce would continue in the role until “at least” the end of 2023, and a conversation on his exit wouldn’t happen until “sometime into next year”.

“The board’s very confident that Alan’s developed very capable executives and that we’ve got strong internal succession, and the board of course, will scan externally as well,” he said. “But the board feels very confident that we’re in good shape in terms of CEO succession as and when that is to occur.”

Joyce was appointed Qantas chief executive in November 2008 after a five-year spell in charge of Jetstar.

It’s long been rumoured he would depart in the next 18 months after he said in February last year that COVID-19 would be his “last crisis” as CEO.

Joyce has won plaudits, and critics, for overseeing a remarkable recent turnaround that will see the company target an underlying profit before tax of up to $1.3 billion in the first half of the current financial year.

The result comes despite the wider group recording an underlying loss before tax of $1.86 billion in its last full-year results and claiming the pandemic cost its airlines $7 billion in total.


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Comments (4)

  • Ozmuzz


    The cosy world of proxy holders and CEOs…. There is no justification for the excessive CEO pay packets, except for the need to get talent (but that is driven by the aforesaid cosy relationship between the proxy holders and the CEOs driving up pay packets to unacceptable levels). AJ has seen Qantas drop from 2/3rds of the Australia – USA market to 1/3rd. AJ has also failed to capitalise on the domestic market where Virgin and Rex are taking market share in spite of Virgin’s earlier woes. The Shonky award is relevant.

  • Nicholas


    Honestly, this is like the pigs voting for Christmas, you listen to the QF Chair and you hear a man completely out of touch with his customers and staff. The tenure of any CEO should be no more than 10 years and Joyce is well over that. The company needs fresh eyes and a new pair of hands. To leave this change for up to another year as has been suggested by the chair is dereliction of duty….

  • Vannus


    QANTAS CEO Mr Alan Joyce won’t leave before ‘Project Sunrise’ is launched in 2025.

    He’s had way too much input, to not be there when it starts.

  • Alan Jones


    Frequent flier member for 25 years, Since March this year I have had one Melbourne Perth flight that has left on scheduled time. Two weeks ago the departure was delayed because a lift was needed for a disabled passenger, we had to wait 50 mins. I felt for the wheel chair bound passenger forced to wait on the plane for an extra 50 minutes. A plane cancelled six hour delay and your article reminded me of the hours spent on hold waiting to change a flight that i could not manage on line. A one way flight between Melbourne and Perth should not be over $ 500 dollars, A return trip of $1500 is totally over the top. The board can’t really be listening to or caring about their loyal customers and staff.
    Cost cuts , staff wage freezes and Management Bonus don’t reflect “The Spirit Of Australia”

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