Virgin Australia Boss John Borghetti To Step Down

The ex-Qantas boss will walk away after a 10-year term with the airline.

What you need to know
  • Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti has announced he will be stepping down from his role in January 2020
  • The move comes after a decade-long tenure at Virgin for the former Qantas executive
  • The company will now commence a global search for his successor

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti has announced he will not renew his contract in January 2020, ending a decade with the company.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the airline said the move would give "ample time to recruit an incoming CEO and allow for appropriate transition."

Borgetti, who joined the airline in 2010, oversaw the company's expansion with its initial re-branding, establishment of international alliances and the acquisition of Tiger Air -- turning it into the second-largest airline in the Australian market.

"It is a privilage to serve as CEO of the Virgin Australia Group and to lead a wonderful team of 10,000 people," Borghetti said on Tuesday.

"By notifying the board of my intentions now, it provides them with appropriate time to conduct a thorough recruitment process and for me to support the transition.

"In the interim, I look forward to continuing in the role of CEO and I remain focused on delivering the goals of the Virgin Australia Group."

The Board will now commence a global search for a successor, the company announced on Tuesday.

"The Board and I are grateful to John for providing a generous period of time for the search for the CEO and an appropriate transition of leadership," Board Chairman Elizabeth Bryan said.

"I would like to acknowledge John's enormous contribution to the Virgin Australia Group to date and thank him for his continued dedication," she said.

Borghetti began his career in the airline industry at Qantas, working his way up to become the company's Executive General Manager.

In 2009 he resigned from Qantas after missing out on the CEO position a year earlier to Alan Joyce.

In May 2010 he began his tenure at Virgin Blue, transforming the low-cost airline to become Qantas' key competitor in the Australian industry.

Virgin Australia is the second-largest Australian airline by market. Image: Facebook- Virgin Australia

Both Qantas and Virgin have been hit by a bitter price war in recent years, with Qantas managing to make a remarkable turnaround, posting a record half-year profit earlier this year.

Virgin also took a hit earlier this year after Air New Zealand announced it would end its trans-Tasman alliance with Virgin Australia in October, following seven years of partnership.

Following the announcement, Borghetti said the end of the alliance would provide "opportunities for the Virgin Australia Group on the Tasman, including operating both the Virgin Australia and Tigerair Australia brands in the market."

Earlier this month Qantas and Air New Zealand announced a codeshare agreement on 115 domestic routes in New Zealand and Australia.