Jayne Hrdlicka will become CEO of the Virgin Australia Group after the incumbent Paul Scurrah confirmed he would be leaving the business when new owner Bain Capital takes control in early November.
Today’s Australian Stock Exchange announcement followed intense speculation yesterday that Bain Capital wanted Scurrah out as it repositions the airline to a Low Cost Carrier business model under Hrdlicka, pictured right, a former CEO of Jetstar, the Qantas Group’s budget carrier.
But Virgin administrator Vaughn Strawbridge from Deloitte said he has assurances from Bain Capital it won’t take that route.
“I know there has been speculation about the shape of the airline in the future and I have reaffirmed with Bain Capital that Virgin Australia will not be reposition as a Low Cost carrier,” Strawbridge said.
“Virgin Australia will be a ‘hybrid’ airline offering great value to customers by delivering a distinctive Virgin experience at competitive prices.
“This will appeal to the full spectrum of customers, from premium corporate through to more budget-focused.”
Scurrah took the Virgin job last year and was at the helm when it went into administration in April.
He worked with first with the administrators and then new owner Bain Capital to restructure the business.
It looked like he was there for the long haul but industry scuttlebutt is that Bain Capital wanted Hrdlicka all along.
Today it appears Scurrah was given the opportunity to resign, with the soon to be former Virgin Australia CEO saying he’d decided to walk away after “some long discussions” with his family.