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Race to replace Joyce on as Tully starts as Jetstar CEO

written by Adam Thorn | December 1, 2022

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce and new Jetstar CEO, Stephanie Tully

The race to replace Alan Joyce as CEO of the Qantas Group has begun after the favourite to take the role, Stephanie Tully, formally began her new job as Jetstar chief executive.

Tully made her first public comments in the post on Thursday by announcing the budget carrier will launch flights between Sydney and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands from 29 June next year.

It came after Qantas announced in September that Gareth Evans would step down as Jetstar CEO to be replaced by the Flying Kangaroo’s then-chief customer officer. Previously, the business said a “formal handover” would take place in November, though no date was given.

Alan Joyce was appointed Qantas Group 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.


Last month, Qantas chairman Richard Goyder told the business’ AGM that Joyce would continue 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 has won plaudits, and critics, for overseeing a remarkable recent turnaround that will see the company now target an underlying profit before tax of up to $1.45 billion — $140 million more than announced just weeks prior.

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.

Stephanie Tully is widely regarded as the favourite to lead the whole business group post-Joyce but will face a tricky task in keeping Jetstar competitive with rising fuel prices and the launch of low-cost rival Bonza.

The former Qantas chief customer officer was seemingly rewarded with the Jetstar promotion for navigating a tricky six months of performance issues.

In 2022, Qantas has faced a string of problems, including huge delays at Easterhours-long call wait times, and even a revelation that the cabin crew of a Qantas A330 were made to sleep across seats in economy.

“Stephanie has worked across several different parts of the airline, from crewing to marketing, and has a deep understanding of customer experience,” said Joyce in September.

“She’s an outstanding leader, and she’ll be leading a very experienced senior team at Jetstar to keep building on the strengths of that business.”

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Comments (9)

  • Nicholas


    I’m not sure that this is a widely held view. Jetstar has a number of challenges and many of them would not seem to fit with Ms. Tullys skill set. There is a lot of operations stuff which is very different to her previous role. Time will tell.

  • Ted


    Jetstar has been a disaster in the last 6 months. Looks like failure is rewarded?

  • John


    Hooray! Let’s hope she understands that looking after the staff ensures they will look after the customer. Culture is everything.

  • Davis FR Perry (Author)


    I am the Author of the HIPPPITY the WHITE KANGAROO series of books.
    I suggested in a email to Mr Joyce, that they should change Jetstar to HIPPIY HOPPITY’S for ‘ SHORT HOPS’ as it fits the narrative. Which may have helped him?!

  • Patrick McGuire


    Perhaps Jetstar could focus on its existing routes and on cleaning up its image (it is commonly known as Shitstar on many Facebook travel groups) before it attempts to expand its overseas network.

  • Opee Monir


    QANTAS was an institution once and it must resume that role by playing an ideal role in commercial aviation. Labour government must investigate why buying back it’s own share was an option at a time of crisis? Was it to boost-up share price to take profit by the stake holders, I mean the major shareholders? Qantas is a national icon and it is an Australian brand; but the state does not have it’s ownership at all and yet QANTAS received the best or favourable financial assistance. This is not flawless.

  • Janet Gray


    Five and a quarter hours on hold as Ff last Feb
    Three hours waiting on hold
    Utter disgrace
    I have family in Australia you have made it impossible for me to afford your fares !!!!!!!

  • Ray Simpson


    Jetstar and Qantas are way too expensive, its cheaper to drive and break the journey up, part of the reason for the high cost must be the luducrous salarys and bonus given to the CEOs and executives, no one is worth the money they get paid, roll on the demise of flights domestically and the establishment of High Speed rail, it may take a few years but its going to happen one day.

  • Lakz 685


    I think its time Mr Joyce made his exit. I also believe the Board should also be replaced for blindly following his profit ahead of passengers & staff regime. Never before has Qantas and the Qantas brand come under so much fire for all the wrong reasons. A new broom needs to sweep clean otherwise its not new.

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