Qantas share price higher on surprise CEO change

The market has responded positively to some big news out of the Flying Kangaroo.

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Qantas Airways Limited (ASX: QAN) share price is pushing higher on Tuesday.

In morning trade, the airline operator's shares are up 1% to $5.73.

Qantas share price higher on Joyce exit

Investors have been bidding the Qantas share price higher this morning after the airline announced the shock exit of its CEO, Alan Joyce, two months ahead of plans.

Joyce advised that he decided to bring forward his retirement in response to recent events. He highlights that recent events make it clear "that the company needs to move ahead with its renewal as a priority."

Qantas' leader of the past 15 years will exit the role immediately with his replacement Vanessa Hudson taking the helm from tomorrow.

Who is Vanessa Hudson?

Hudson has been with the company even longer than Joyce. She joined Qantas in 1994 and has held a variety of senior commercial, customer, and finance roles across the group in both Australia and overseas.

This includes executive manager of sales and distribution, senior vice president for Qantas across the Americas and New Zealand, executive manager of commercial planning, and executive manager for product and service.

However, her most recent roles were as the chief customer officer in 2018 and then chief financial officer in 2019 through until today.

Back in May when Hudson was appointed as the heir to the Qantas throne, the company's chair, Richard Goyder, commented:

Vanessa has a deep understanding of this business after almost three decades in a range of roles both onshore and offshore, across commercial, customer and finance. She has a huge amount of airline experience and she's an outstanding leader.

Goyder appears to believe this experience will help Hudson navigate Qantas through the current storm. This morning he said:

This transition comes at what is obviously a challenging time for Qantas and its people. We have an important job to do in restoring the public's confidence in the kind of company we are, and that's what the Board is focused on, and what the management under Vanessa's leadership will do.

And judging by the Qantas share price performance today, it seems the market has confidence that Hudson will deliver the goods.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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