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Qantas CEO Alan Joyce to step down two months early – questions over shares remain



Alan Joyce, the long-serving chief executive officer of Qantas Airways, has announced his early retirement, with the airline’s board fast-tracking the leadership transition by two months.

Originally slated to retire at the end of the year, Joyce’s departure will now take place on Wednesday.

The Qantas board made this decision public through an announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Tuesday morning.

The immediate successor to Joyce, Vanessa Hudson, will officially assume her new role as managing director and group CEO on Wednesday.

Joyce explained his decision to expedite his retirement, citing the recent scrutiny of the airline’s conduct and its imperative need for renewal.

In a statement released by Qantas, he expressed his belief that this move was in the best interest of the company. “In the last few weeks, the focus on Qantas and events of the past make it clear to me that the company needs to move ahead with its renewal as a priority,” he stated.

Joyce has had a remarkable 22-year tenure at Qantas, serving as its chief executive for the past 15 years. Through the ups and downs, he says he leaves the airline with a sense of pride, acknowledging that there is still much work to be done, especially in ensuring the continued satisfaction of Qantas’ loyal customer base.

“There have been many ups and downs, and there is clearly much work still to be done, especially to make sure we always deliver for our customers,” he said.

“But I leave knowing that the company is fundamentally strong and has a bright future.”

Richard Goyder, chairman of Qantas, commended Joyce’s unwavering commitment to the airline. Goyder stated that Joyce had consistently placed the best interests of Qantas at the forefront of his leadership.

Joyce’s decision to expedite his retirement and the seamless transition to Vanessa Hudson as the new CEO marks a pivotal moment in Qantas’ history.

The airline, like many others in the industry, has faced numerous challenges in recent years, including the global pandemic’s impact on travel.

As Vanessa Hudson assumes her new role, the focus will be on charting a course for Qantas in a rapidly evolving aviation landscape.

Share pressure

Qantas Chairman Richard Goyder faces mounting pressure to clarify CEO Alan Joyce’s substantial compensation package amid the airline’s tarnished reputation.

Questions also loom about the board’s rationale for granting Mr. Joyce permission to sell 2.5 million Qantas shares in June and their awareness of investigations into the sale of “ghost flight” tickets.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is pursuing a lawsuit against Qantas for alleged misleading and deceptive conduct regarding the sale of thousands of tickets for flights that were subsequently cancelled between May and July last year.

In June, Mr. Joyce sold his shares for $17 million, but since then, various factors, including the ACCC case, have driven down Qantas’ share price by 7%, now standing at $5.60. This means Mr. Joyce would have earned $3 million less if he had sold the shares today.

There are no allegations of wrongdoing against Mr. Joyce or any board member.

According to an insider, the severity of the ACCC allegations only became apparent in recent weeks.

Previously, Mr. Joyce had described the share sale as a “personal purchase.”

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COP28: Global effort to phase out fossil fuels



World leaders at COP28 have intensified their commitment to combat climate change by embarking on a bold initiative to phase out fossil fuels.

The United Nations climate talks, held in a virtual format due to ongoing pandemic concerns, saw representatives from nearly 200 countries coming together to address the urgent need for action on the climate crisis.

The decision to focus on ending fossil fuel use marks a significant departure from previous climate negotiations.

Countries have traditionally grappled with setting emissions reduction targets, but this year’s conference places a strong emphasis on the need to transition away from the reliance on coal, oil, and natural gas. Experts argue that this shift is critical to limiting global temperature rise and avoiding the most catastrophic effects of climate change.

Key highlights of the COP28 agreement include setting ambitious deadlines for phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, promoting renewable energy sources, and encouraging the development of green technologies.

The conference also established a fund to support developing nations in their transition away from fossil fuels, recognizing that these countries often face the greatest challenges in achieving sustainability.

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Russian police raid Moscow gay clubs



Russian authorities conducted raids on several gay clubs in Moscow, according to reports from various media outlets.

The raids have sent shockwaves through the LGBTQ+ community and have raised concerns about the ongoing crackdown on LGBTQ+ rights in Russia.

Eyewitnesses and clubgoers describe a heavy police presence during the raids, with officers reportedly detaining patrons and staff members.

The reasons behind these raids remain unclear, but they have ignited a fierce debate on social media and within human rights organizations.

International LGBTQ+ rights advocates are calling on the Russian government to address these actions and protect the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ individuals in the country.

The raids have also drawn attention to Russia’s controversial “gay propaganda” law, which has been criticized for its potential to fuel discrimination and violence against LGBTQ+ people.

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UK delays Jeff Zucker’s Telegraph deal for inquiry



The UK government has decided to put a hold on the proposed acquisition of The Telegraph newspaper by media mogul Jeff Zucker’s conglomerate.

According to a recent report, this decision has been made in order to conduct further investigations into potential regulatory concerns surrounding the deal.

The move comes amidst growing concerns over media consolidation and its impact on media diversity and competition.

The government aims to ensure that the acquisition would not result in a concentration of media power that could potentially stifle independent journalism and diverse voices in the industry.

This decision has sparked debates about the balance between media ownership and the preservation of media plurality in the UK. Supporters of the deal argue that it could lead to much-needed investments in The Telegraph, while critics worry about the potential for Zucker’s conglomerate to wield too much influence over the media landscape.

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