Leading a strategic, systematic overhaul of a companys operations and brand would be a daunting task for any CEO. When Rob Gurney was offered the job of CEO of Jetset Travelworld and tasked with this herculean effort, he leapt at the opportunity.
More than a year later, Rob has implemented a vast array of initiatives, from engaging one-on-one with stakeholders and suppliers, to reinvigorating and revamping the companys brand and market position.
Until about 14 months ago, I was the chief commercial officer at Qantas. I held that role for nearly four years, which followed a 20-year career in aviation with Qantas and British Airways, where I held a number of senior commercial and strategy roles across those businesses.
I took over this business to undertake a comprehensive strategic review and implement a transformation program. We spent the first three months of my tenure working through the strategic options and testing with the Board.
Whatever option we selected, being able to fund the investment required was a crucial test. We applied a robust financial lens over the options. This included maintaining the balance sheet strength of the business, with appropriate cover to manage any unexpected events along the way. With this in mind, we had to consider that whatever the costs of implementing the transformation, we couldnt allow it to penalise any of our commercial partners or shareholders. Instead, it had to create more value for them.