Asia - Pacific

Virgin Australia picks new CEO following airline's sale

2000-born Australian company has been recently sold out to US private equity firm Bain Capital

Riyaz ul Khaliq  | 15.10.2020 - Update : 15.10.2020
Virgin Australia picks new CEO following airline's sale file photo


Australia's airline Virgin Australia has picked a new boss following its sale to the US private equity firm Bain Capital, the company said on Thurday.

In a statement, Virgin Australia said Jayne Hrdlicka will be appointed by Bain Capital as the chief executive officer (CEO) by early November, succeeding Paul Scurrah.

Scurrah was appointed to the top post in March 2019.

The Australian airline, which began its journey in 2000, was sold to Bain Capital last month. The takeover is expected to be finalized by early next month.

Hrdlicka, an American-born business executive based in Australia, has been the chairwoman and board president of Tennis Australia since she was appointed in October 2017.

She also held top positions at budget brand Jetstar and A2 Milk company.

“Paul Scurrah has done an outstanding job supporting us through this process. His exceptional leadership enabled us to stabilize the business and achieve a sale in a timely and orderly manner,” the company statement said.

“It is a testament to his leadership that we have been able to complete this sale and the business is well positioned to play its vital role in the rebuilding of the Australian aviation industry and economy more broadly.”

The Virgin Australia statement asserted that the airline “will not be repositioned as a low-cost carrier”.

“Virgin Australia will be a ‘hybrid’ airline, offering great value to customers by delivering a distinctive Virgin experience at competitive prices. This will appeal to the full spectrum of travelers, from premium corporate through to more budget-focused customers,” it said.

Scurrah in his statement said: “Having seen the company through COVID-19, voluntary administration, the sale to Bain Capital and the redesign of the business, I will be stepping down as CEO and Managing Director at financial close. I have made this decision after some long discussions with my family. The time feels right, and I know the business will be in good hands.”

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