June 28, 2018 / 3:25 AM / 5 months ago

Australia's Qantas Airways appoints former Wesfarmers CEO as chairman

FILE PHOTO - Two Qantas Airways Airbus A330 aircraft can be seen on the tarmac near the domestic terminal at Sydney Airport in Australia, November 30, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray

(Reuters) - Qantas Airways said on Thursday it is appointing former Wesfarmers Ltd CEO Richard Goyder as its new chairman from October, replacing long-serving chairman Leigh Clifford who is retiring at a time of record earnings at the airline.

The airline underwent a dramatic financial turnaround during Clifford’s tenure. Qantas has forecast it will report record full-year underlying earnings before tax of up to A$1.6 billion ($1.18 billion) in August, although the outlook for airlines globally has been tempered by rising oil prices.

Clifford, a former CEO of miner Rio Tinto, was appointed 11 years ago and oversaw the selection of current CEO, Alan Joyce, who has been in his role for nearly 10 years.

Qantas said Clifford will step down after the airline’s annual meeting in October, to be replaced by Goyder, who is also the chairman of Woodside Petroleum Ltd and the Australian Football League. Goyder has been a Qantas board member since November 2017.

Shares of Qantas were trading 2.1 percent lower in a flat overall market on Thursday.

($1 = 1.3598 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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