New CFO completes Virgin Blue revamp

Seattle
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Sankar Narayan's appointment as Virgin Blue's new chief financial officer completes a make-over in the airline group's senior management team.

Narayan will replace Keith Neate, who has been Virgin Blue's chief financial officer for the past seven years. Neate announced his retirement in December for personal reasons, but agreed to stay on until March 31 to smooth the transition. Narayan starts in April. 

The appointment caps a transition over the past nine months to new managers following the retirement last May of Virgin Blue's founder, Brett Godfrey. The gradual exodus of the Godfrey team has includ¬d Andrew David, chief operating officer, Scott Swift, V Australia general manager, Tony Wheelens, head of government relations, and Heather Jeffery, head of corporate affairs.  John Borghetti, who succeeded Godfrey as chief executive officer and managing director, has filled some of these posts with people who worked for him when he held the number three position at Qantas.

Narayan comes from outside the industry, with a background in the financial affairs of media companies. Most recently he was chief financial officer at Malaysia's Astro All Asia Networks. Before that he held a similar post at Fairfax Media, a large newspaper and television conglomerate in Australia. 

The experienced Narayan will lead Virgin Blue's financial, IT, and centralised procurement divisions. He will also participate in strategic decisions as the airline repositions itself in an effort to attract more business travelers.