Is this the worst CEO in Australian Corporate History?

Is this the worst CEO in Australian Corporate History?

By Jon Michail

What do you have to do to get the sack these days?

For most of us that live and work in the real world, it’s likely to be profit loss, inability to work with others, upsetting customers and managing to downgrade the business.

Seems reasonable, doesn’t it?

But wait – that’s exactly what Qantas airways boss Alan Joyce has done.

So why is he still here?

His record is little short of disastrous. It has been nothing but one crisis after another.

Ever since Joyce grounded Qantas’s entire fleet in October 2011 in order to break a union deadlock, he has become one of the country’s most disliked chief executives… and that means a negative personal brand image.

The reverberations from his decision to shut down operations are still being felt today.

He may have solved the strike action at the time, but little was achieved long-term and customers are now understandably nervous about travelling with an airline that shows no compunction in stranding thousands of travellers on the other side of the world.

Joyce continues to face ongoing criticism from industry professionals, the unions, politicians, shareholders and customers who would like nothing better than to remain loyal.

Qantas has not paid a dividend since 2009. In February, first-half year we learned that the share price had dropped 4%.

That sort of news is a source of ongoing frustration and anger with the shareholders, thousands of mum-and-dad investors who believed in the Qantas legend.

Dividends show confidence in a company. Falling share prices, losses, a downgrade in credit rating and a rapidly reducing business have all helped in creating the latest loss of $2.8 billion.

It’s an ugly record guaranteed to make investors lose confidence, considering the almost $1 billion profit that Joyce took over on his appointment.

So why is he still here? Maybe it’s because he asked the government for assistance last year.

Maybe it’s the latest announcements of 5000 job cuts or the write-down of $2.6 billion on the value of the fleet. Closer to home, it could be the loss of goodwill from Qantas employees who love their company and hate seeing it lose its reputation and profit.

The airline’s massive loss can be attributed in part to its battle with Virgin and competition with no-frills/low-frills carriers.

There are also Jetstar’s losses on its domestic and international operations. Some blame the Board, because they are not ‘aviation people’.

Whatever the opinions, there’s no arguing with the fact that no CEO should survive a $3 billion loss together with the accompanying brand damage.

You would not let anyone do that to your business, no matter whether it was a lawn-mowing round or the local plumbing operation.

It’s time that Alan Joyce went.

He’s had six years and he’s almost run the company into the ground.

Some have served less time for murder.

What are your thoughts?

 

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