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Qantas (ASX:QAN) share price in focus as chairman retirement date announced

The Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is up after the airline announced when its chairman would step down.

The ASX travel share also told investors that there would be board renewal at the business.

Qantas shares its board renewal plans

The airline acknowledged that there needed to be board renewal in light of the reputational issues facing the group and to support restoration of trust in the company.

It announced that chair Richard Goyder will retire before the AGM in late 2024.

Qantas pointed out that non-executive director Michael L’Estrange will retire at this year’s AGM on 3 November 2023.

Directors Jacqueline Hey and Maxine Brenner will retire at the Qantas half-year result in February after being on the board for a decade, to “facilitate further renewal”.

At this year’s AGM, there will be three new directors that offer themselves for election – Doug Parker, Dr Heather Smith and CEO and managing director Vanessa Hudson, as well as two existing directors – Todd Sampson and Belinda Hutchinson.

Once the new directors are in place, the board is expected to have an average tenure of approximately three years at the 2024 AGM, “providing a balance of fresh leadership with necessary continuity.”

The board has initiated the process to appoint new non-executive directors in the months ahead as well as a new chair. New committee roles will be appointed in due course.

The Qantas board has also started a process to independently review key governance matters over the past 12 months and Qantas will share those outcomes in the second quarter of the 2024 calendar year.

Leadership commentary

The Qantas chair Richard Goyder said:

As a board, we acknowledge the significant reputational and customer service issues facing the Group and recognise that accountability is required to restore trust.

Qantas has gone through an incredibly difficult period since our operation was grounded during the pandemic. The recovery has not been easy, and mistakes were made. We again apologise for those times where we got it wrong.

I have always sought to act in the best interests of Qantas. Measured and orderly succession at board level will support the important work underway led by Vanessa and her new management team. Fundamentally, the group is in a very strong position to overcome its current challenges and deliver for all its stakeholders in the years ahead.

Final thoughts on Qantas shares

The Qantas share price has fallen around 25% since 24 July 2023.

At some point the ASX travel share may become good value as it keeps falling, but with a higher oil price, question marks about whether demand can be maintained and all of this negative news, the Qantas share price may not recover for a while.

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