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Borghetti to succeed Godfrey as Virgin Blue CEO

Virgin Blue Holdings has appointed former Qantas executive general manager John Borghetti as its new chief executive officer and managing director, effective from 8 May.

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.

“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,” remarked Virgin Blue chairman Neil Chatfield. “Nobody knows the market better and he is passionate about the aviation business. 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.”

Borghetti declared himself privileged to have been selected as the airline’s new leader. “It’s a great business with a great team and great culture – you can feel the energy in the people and the brand,” he commented. “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.”

Chatfield added that 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 Borghetti’s appointment, 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,” Godfrey added. “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."

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