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Virgin CEO Jayne Hrdlicka takes leave after husband’s passing

written by Jake Nelson | May 9, 2023

Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka is taking leave to spend time with her family following the passing of her husband from cancer.

In a post on LinkedIn, Ms Hrdlicka said that husband Jason Gaudin – who was diagnosed with a “rare, aggressive and ultimately incurable” form of cancer in 2019 – had died after a “long, difficult and brave battle”, leaving behind her and their two sons, 19-year-old Alec and 16-year-old Josh.

“For his sake, I am grateful that the suffering is behind him. For our sake, it is a devastating loss. He was such a kind, loving, fun and adventurous person with a sharp and quick wit. Jason will be sorely missed as a father, husband, son, brother and friend to many,” she wrote on LinkedIn.

“I deeply appreciate the heartfelt support and compassion from so many over the last couple of years as Jason and I worked our way through his various treatment phases and challenges. His strength, incredibly positive attitude and passion for his boys enabled him to live years beyond the expectations of his doctors. For that we are blessed and grateful.”


Ms Hrdlicka, previously CEO of Jetstar and of Qantas Loyalty, left the Qantas Group in 2017 to head up The a2 Milk Company, before resigning in 2019 due to what she would later reveal was her husband’s cancer diagnosis. She was selected to replace Virgin Australia CEO Paul Scurrah in 2020.

The airline has offered Ms Hrdlicka its condolences on her LinkedIn page, saying, “On behalf of everyone at Virgin Australia, we send our deepest condolences to you and your family. We are all thinking of you during this difficult time.”

The Australian Aviation team also extends our deepest sympathies to Ms Hrdlicka and her family for their loss.

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