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  • Smith, Macarthur out as Virgin Australia rejigs executive team

Smith, Macarthur out as Virgin Australia rejigs executive team

Chief financial officer Geoff Smith and acting chief commercial officer Merren Macarthur will leave Virgin Australia before the end of the year as part of a restructure of its executive team.

The restructuring will integrate the corporate, operational and commercial functions of subsidiaries Tigerair Australia and Virgin Australia Regional Airlines (VARA) with the group.

Chief executive Paul Scurrah, who joined the company in late March, says that the new executive leadership structure will streamline several functions, and forms part of a wider organisational "rightsizing" programme.

Smith will be replaced form 2 September by Keith Neate, who returns to Virgin after leaving the CFO's role in 2011 to go to another company. Smith will remain with the airline until the end of the year.

Virgin has also selected Air Canada executive John MacLeod as its new chief commercial officer, and will replace Macarthur from 8 October. He has previously held roles at Virgin America, Air New Zealand and Alaska Airlines.

Macarthur will remain as chief executive of Tigerair Australia over the coming months to assist with the transition to the new structure but intends to leave the Virgin group.

Stuart Aggs, who has been acting as chief operating officer, has now been confirmed in the role. The new structure will see executive general managers that hold the air operator's certificates for Tigerair Australia and VARA report to him.

The company has also created a new position of chief strategy and technology officer that has yet to be filled.

Danielle Keighery has been promoted to the new position of chief experience officer, which will have accountability for strengthening the group's brands and products.

Virgin has signalled plans to remove 750 jobs across its business by the end of June 2020, aimed at generating cost savings of A$75 million.

The airline reported an underlying loss before tax of A$71.2 million for the 2020 financial year.

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