The 41-year-old, Sydney-born Brett Godfrey started his career as an accountant with Touche Ross. His first overseas posting was in Canada.

He brought his new bride back from Calgary to Melbourne in 1988, where he took his first aviation job with National Jet as controller.

Godfrey's career with the Virgin group started in 1993 when he moved to the UK to join Virgin Atlantic as finance manager. Three years later he moved to Belgium to represent Virgin's interests in acquiring a European low-cost carrier, Virgin Express. He was part of the team that took that airline public in 1997. Following that, he became its chief financial officer.

In 1998, he and Sir Richard Branson discussed launching an Australia airline. Godfrey and a small team of consultants gathered most of the data for a draft business plan. Branson provided the seed money and brand.

In early 2000, Godfrey moved his wife and two small children to Brisbane and Virgin Blue launched in August 2000.

Source: Airline Business