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Virgin Blue Announces John Borghetti New CEO

Virgin Blue Announces John Borghetti New CEO

Tuesday 2 March 2010: The Board of Virgin Blue Holdings Limited (VBA) today announced that it had appointed John Borghetti as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, effective May 8, 2010.

Chairman Neil Chatfield said: “We are delighted to have John join us. He is a highly regarded executive with deep aviation experience and insights; proven strategic capabilities and; strong marketing credentials. Nobody knows the market better and he is passionate about the aviation business.

Current Virgin Blue CEO and co-founder of the company, Brett Godfrey announced in July 2009 his intention to step down from the leadership role this year.

“With the company poised to move to its next level, John is the right person to now lead Virgin Blue through that new phase of evolution,” Mr Chatfield said.

Mr Borghetti said he feels privileged to have been selected as the new leader of Virgin Blue.

“It’s a great business with a great team and great culture – you can feel the energy in the people and the brand. The company is in good shape and is exceptionally well placed to build on its strengths and embrace revenue growth opportunities ahead. I look forward to working with the team to create an even more competitive environment for air travellers – domestic and international,” he said.

Mr Chatfield said Mr Godfrey has done an excellent job over the last 10 years.

“Today, Virgin Blue has a credible market position with a solid balance sheet and has the scale and momentum for further growth, despite the enormous challenges faced by the industry in recent years. Brett has been an inspirational leader to the Virgin Blue team and we sincerely thank him for his extraordinary dedication and talent. We also appreciate that he has agreed to be available to work with John to ensure a smooth transition.”

Commenting on Mr Borghetti’s appointment, Mr Godfrey said: "I look forward to welcoming John and introducing him into the business. John has a proven track record in the aviation sector. He comes with enormous knowledge and experience. Importantly, I know he respects the Virgin Blue team and its culture.

“His understanding and participation in both the low cost and full service segments, has him uniquely placed to lead Virgin Blue in its next stage of development. I wish John and the brilliant team at Virgin Blue the very best and look forward to seeing the company grow and prosper in the years ahead."

While the broad terms of Mr Borghetti’s employment have been agreed, various terms of the incentive components of his remuneration are still being finalised. A further announcement will be made once terms are completed.


March, 2010: John Borghetti, 54, is a leader in the aviation sector with some 36 years experience in a wide range of senior roles at Qantas prior to leaving the company in May 2008.

Mr Borghetti, was Executive General Manager of Qantas over the six years before he left the group and was responsible for over $10bn in revenue per annum, up to 16,000 staff and assets including approximately 200 aircraft.

He headed domestic and international operations including network operations, scheduling and pricing, sales and marketing, crew, customer service, product and brand. These responsibilities covered all full-service airlines in the Qantas group, which in addition to Qantas mainline, also included Australia’s regional carrier QantasLink and Qantas’s New Zealand operation Jetconnect. During his tenure as Executive General Manager Qantas Airlines, the company achieved its highest reported profit of over $1.4bn.

Other achievements at Qantas include the development of a number of subsidiary businesses such as the company’s Holiday Travel operations in Australia and Asia; building its Frequent Flyer membership to over 5 million; and increasing Qantas’s Australian corporate travel business. He also played a key role in formulating the company’s two-brand strategy and the introduction of low cost operator, Jetstar. Furthermore, Mr Borghetti led the complete redefinition and upgrade of Qantas’s product, design and customer service models - an initiative which transformed the brand and received numerous awards for excellence.

Prior to 2003, Mr Borghetti headed the airline’s Global Sales and Marketing operations, including responsibility for the Qantas Holidays group of companies.

In his early career, he held a variety of positions in various commercial areas in the airline’s Melbourne office, moving to Sydney in 1988.

Mr Borghetti’s current directorships are with Care Australia, Piper Aircraft, The Australian Ballet and Investment Committee Member of Investec Global Aircraft Fund. He will be stepping down from the Piper Aircraft board and the Investec Global Aircraft Fund.

Mr Borghetti is married, with two adult children and currently lives in Sydney but will move to Brisbane. He is fluent in Italian and is passionate about football, motor sports and classic cars.


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