Incoming Optus head marketer ditches role to head to Qantas

Incoming Optus marketer Danielle Keighery has made a shock announcement, moving back to the airline industry as Qantas’ new chief corporate affairs and communications officer.

In October, Optus announced Keighery’s appointment as managing director, marketing and corporate affairs.

The former Crown Resorts chief brand and corporate affairs officer was due to start on February 5.


Less than one month after the announcement, the telecommunication company suffered a nationwide outage, that left 10 millions customers unable to make calls or use the internet.

The Federal Government launched an investigation into the outage, and Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, former CEO of Optus, resigned as a result of the disaster. Keighery was due to report directly to Bayer Rosmarin.

Optus confirmed to Mumbrella that Keighery will no longer be joining the telecommunication company, and a spokesperson said: “We wish her well in her future ventures.”

Now, she is due to start at Qantas on March 1.

In a statement sent to Mumbrella, Qantas said: “The Qantas Group is pleased to announce that Ms Danielle Keighery will join as its new chief corporate affairs and communications officer.

“Ms Keighery brings more than 25 years of experience in complex and high-profile communications, public affairs, government and brand roles, including Virgin Australia, Bank of Queensland and, most recently, Crown Resorts.”

Vanessa Hudson, CEO of the airline said in the statement: “Danielle has a wealth of experience leading corporate affairs functions for major organisations in both Australia and overseas, with broader expertise in building corporate reputation, enhancing brands and customer experience, and driving cultural change through strong communications and stakeholder engagement.

“I know she’ll make a valuable contribution to the Qantas Group as part of our leadership team,” Hudson added.

Much like Optus, Qantas’ reputation is in recovery after an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation last year.

The consumer watchdog alleged that Qantas “engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct” by advertising tickets for more than 8,000 flights that it had already cancelled. The national carrier was also in hot water for months of delays, cancellations and mishandled baggage over the previous 12-18 month period.

Former CEO, Alan Joyce, stepped away from the role in September, mid-PR crisis. Hudson assumed the role of managing director and group CEO the following day.

Keighery will replace Qantas’ group executive of corporate affairs, Andrew McGinnes, who is leaving after 13 years at the airline.

“I’d like to sincerely thank Andrew for all his work over a long and successful career at Qantas,” Hudson added.

The incoming marketer previously spent over a decade working in the airline industry at Virgin Australia, across PR, brand and marketing, and as chief experience officer. She spent six years at Virgin at head of corporate affairs and marketing, before moving to the brand’s airline.


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