Wirth has been a rising star in Qantas and she has taken the Loyalty business to record earnings and expanded its reach into hotels, holidays, insurance and financial services.
She was among those in line for the chief executive role when Alan Joyce announced his retirement.
It follows a clean out at the company following a disastrous series of events at the airline which led to chief executive Alan Joyce leaving earlier than previously announced. Chair Richard Goyder also announced he would leave next year along with two other directors.
The airline has also appointed a former PwC executive, Catherine Walsh, to drive its cultural change. Walsh will be the new Chief People Officer and would be responsible for creating a stronger relationship with the workforce and the unions that represent them.
Qantas chief executive Vanessa Hudson said building a stronger culture and better relationships with the airline’s workers was one of her highest priorities and a shared responsibility across management.
“As our Chief People Officer, Catherine will support those collective efforts by ensuring we always value the incredible contribution our people make to this organisation and listen to their insights, especially as we welcome thousands more to the Group to support our growth,” said Hudson.
Wirth has recently shifted her attention elsewhere and was last week appointed to the Myer board as a non-executive director. She is also a director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.
Qantas announced that Wirth would leave in February “to pursue other opportunities”.
Hudson said Olivia’s contribution to the company had been enormous.
“As CEO of Loyalty she drove huge expansion of what the program offers and that shows in the growth in members and their engagement levels,” Hudson said.
“During Covid, Loyalty was one of the few parts of the business that was able to carry on, which took a lot of hard work and imagination.”
Wirth said Qantas had been a massive part of her professional life and said it was an incredible company that she had been proud to be a part of.
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