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Geoff Culbert resigns as Sydney Airport CEO

written by Jake Nelson | May 23, 2023

Sydney Airport CEO Geoff Culbert. (Image: Sydney Airport)

Geoff Culbert will step down as Sydney Airport CEO at the end of the year, following almost six years steering Australia’s largest airport.

Culbert, who took the top job in 2018 after 15 years at GE, said the time is right to hand over the reins as Sydney Airport completes its post-pandemic recovery. The airport will now undertake a global search to find his successor.

“It’s been a privilege to have led Australia’s premier domestic and international airport since 2018, and to work with such a wonderful team through a unique and challenging period in the airport’s history,” said Culbert in a statement.

“By the end of the year the airport will be close to fully recovered, and that will be the right time to hand over to a new CEO who will lead the airport through the next phase.

“Sydney Airport has been part of the social and economic fabric of Sydney and NSW for more than 100 years and I’m confident it will continue to play a crucial role for the next hundred.”


David Gonski, chair of Sydney Airport, thanked Culbert for his leadership during “one of the most significant and disruptive periods in aviation history”.

“This includes managing the airport through the pandemic when traffic was devastated by border closures, the recent rapid recovery, and dealing with the largest take-private transaction in Australian corporate history,” he said.

“As a leader, Geoff also built an outstanding team and culture that will endure long after he departs. We are pleased that Geoff will be staying on until the end of the year to give us the opportunity to conduct a global search and facilitate a smooth transition to a new CEO.”

Culbert has occasionally been a vocal critic of airlines, earlier this year pointing the finger at carriers for offering fewer seats at high prices, which he said drove up fares and depressed travel.

“The domestic passenger recovery at Sydney Airport has been stagnant since April last year, with reduced capacity and high airfares impacting people’s travelling habits,” he said.

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