Qantas restructures executive team, with Olivia Wirth to lead Loyalty and Vanessa Hudson taking chief customer role

Qantas chief customer officer Olivia Wirth has been promoted to lead the company’s Loyalty business, with current executive manager of sales and distribution, Vanessa Hudson to replace her as CCO, the airline has announced.

The restructure has also led to a change in reporting lines which will see the corporate affairs function move under people and culture group head Lesley Grant, with Hudson retaining responsibility for group marketing.

Olivia Wirth becomes CEO of Qantas’ loyalty business

The changes follow the resignation of current loyalty CEO Jayne Hrdlicka, who announced her departure from the company in December last year. Prior to that role, Hrdlicka was Jetstar’s chief executive officer.

Wirth has been with Qantas for nine years, having previously been executive director at the Transport and Tourism Forum industry lobby group.

Hudson joined Qantas in 1994 and is currently the executive manager of sales and distribution. She has held a series of customer and commercial roles at the airline, including head of product and service development, senior vice president of the Americas and New Zealand and general manager of inflight services.

The moves will take effect from February 12 and will see Hudson join the airline’s senior group management committee.

“At the senior executive level we have a number of very high-calibre individuals who have a deep understanding of our business, and Olivia and Vanessa are two standout examples of that,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement.

“Olivia has been on the group management committee for eight years and has very successfully led the Qantas brand, including managing the marketing function for Frequent Flyer, as part of her portfolio. It’s a business she understands well and that will benefit from her strong customer analytics and marketing experience as this part of our portfolio keeps expanding.

“Vanessa has led many key customer improvements over her 23 years at Qantas, including the introduction of Neil Perry and Rockpool into our in-flight dining and the complete re-design of our domestic check-in experience. Combined with her understanding of our network and fleet, Vanessa will lead the many initiatives happening across the Group to keep improving the experience for our customers.”


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