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Alan Joyce and Qantas

By: Dr Peter Harbison,Derek Sadubin
Narrated by: Laurence Brewer
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Publisher's Summary

The twists and turns of the last 15 years of the Qantas story contain all the ingredients of a corporate thriller, with constant shocks to the system, and boardroom dramas and disasters narrowly avoided. During this tumultuous period, as CEO of Australia's iconic airline, Alan Joyce became one of the best-known corporate figures in Australia, and one of the most polarising.

He's had to steer the company through cyclones and bushfires, volcanic ash clouds and a tsunami, a pandemic, two fleet groundings, intense union battles and a bitter turf-war. He's been through mass sackings, defections from his inner circle, calls for his resignation, personal bust-ups and betrayals, and question-marks over the survival of the company.

He's been vilified in the media and lauded in the corporate world, copped a pie in the face, battled homophobia, fought for diversity, endured death threats, Senate grillings, a cancer scare, record-high oil prices, record-low customer ratings, wildly fluctuating interest rates and share prices, huge profits and crippling losses, and a horrific period of post-COVID recovery.

By any standard, it's been a remarkable ride. Through it all, Qantas has emerged a transformed airline, wearing some scars but more fit for purpose than ever, primed for the future. Throughout, the Aussie-Irishman Joyce has been unerringly true to his principles - personal and professional. But what will his legacy be when the contrails of his tenure fade?

Global aviation expert Peter Harbison tells the full and unvarnished story of this fascinating period of the Qantas journey, through the insights and anecdotes of business leaders, politicians, union bosses, analysts, media critics, rivals and insiders - and the man at the helm through it all: Alan Joyce.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2023 Peter Harbison and Derek Sadubin (P)2023 Penguin Random House Australia Audio

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Great summary of a history of Qantas and Joyce

Really enjoyed listening to a history of Joyce and Qantas. Great writing, covers everything without getting bogged down on the details

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Ode to Alan

If you are looking for the definitive Alan Joyce corporate biography, this is the book for you. It's quite obvious he either had a solid hand in creating this or at very least gave his gaggle of QF flunkies tacit permission to sing his praises to the author. It's HEAVILY biased and intently focused on the views and opinions of only the very top level of business heads as far as quotes are concerned. It borders on nauseating in many parts, which accurately reflects the subject matter in my opinion. The timing of the book is also suspicious, and oddly fails to mention the reason Joyce accelerated his departure from the business. Just like the man, this book provides an excuse or justification for every questionable decision or outcome felt by his hand, and even goes so far as to agree with some of the idiotic, obviously contradictory statements Joyce has made over the years e.g. When Joyce came under fire during Covid for plonking down $19m for a new pad, when thousands of his staff were laid off and struggling, never mind the rest of the country, Joyce defensively stated that he wasn't a public figure therefore it was none of anyone's business how he lived. Yet this supposed private individual, by force of his own personal views and conviction, insisted on forcing an entire corporation to go along with his own marriage equality views, stopping short of replacing QF red with rainbow colours. He also took it upon himself to make highly controversial statements regarding China's sovereignty claim over Taiwan, which stunk of a pathetic attempt to appease the Chinese government and assure future access to the mainland. If those aren't the actions of a public figure, I'd love to know what are.
The book is made all the more difficult to listen to as the performer has no idea how to pronounce a number of acronyms and abbreviations e.g. CASA, LAN, LATAM etc
Note to the Author: Hong Kong Haneda should be Tokyo Haneda. Didn't one of Joyce's lackies pick that up when you had them edit the material????

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