World News – UA – Virgin boss Paul Scurrah to leave after Bain buyout, admin confirms


Virgin Australia director Deloitte has confirmed that the airline’s chief executive, Paul Scurrah, will leave the company as it prepares to hand over ownership to the US private equity firm Bain Capital’s own

M Scurrah will step down when Virgin is officially handed over to Bain in early November, Deloitte said on Thursday, and former Jetstar boss Jayne Hrdlicka will take over as CEO

The departure of M Scurrah was imminent on Wednesday afternoon, as revealed to the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, sources claiming he was locked in a meeting with Bain to negotiate his exit

« Paul has done an outstanding job supporting us throughout this process, » said Vaughan Strawbridge, director of Deloitte « His exceptional leadership allowed us to stabilize the business and close a sale on time and in an orderly fashion »

M Scurrah joined Virgin in early 2019 and was developing a turnaround plan to improve the airline’s poor financial performance when the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to bring its fleet to a standstill and pushed it into insolvency with 6 $8 billion

He said it had been a « great privilege » to run the airline for the past 18 months, even during « the most difficult time in aviation history »

« I continued to be so proud of the way my team and our entire organization fought to save this airline and keep the competition alive in Australia, » Mr. Scurrah in a press release

« We have been successful not only in securing the future of the business, but also in resetting the business to ensure it is well positioned to deliver Bain Capital for many years to come. »

M Scurrah appears to have been successful in convincing Bain to back his vision of keeping Virgin as a full-service airline, after local private equity firm boss Mike Murphy earlier said he wanted to rebuild Virgin in as a « hybrid » airline operating somewhere between Qantas and Jetstar

The imminent exit of M Scurrah heightened fears among Virgin employees that Bain would reverse previous insurance and fire Virgin to a low-budget airline with a limited network, leaving Qantas with a monopoly on full-service air travel in Australia

However, M Strawbridge sought to crush that speculation on Thursday, saying it reaffirmed with Bain that Virgin Australia would not be repositioned as a low cost carrier

« Virgin Australia will be a ‘hybrid’ airline, delivering great value to customers by delivering a distinctive Virgin experience at competitive prices, » said M Strawbridge « This will appeal to all travelers, from high-end businesses to more budget-minded customers »

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Paul Scurrah

World News – UA – Virgin boss Paul Scurrah to leave after Bain takeover, administrator confirms


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