Hudson graduated from the University of Technology Sydney with a business degree in 1991.
She began her career as an auditor with accounting giant Deloitte in 1992 before joining Qantas as an internal audit supervisor in 1994.
She then became a financial controller in the company’s commercial division.
In 1997, Hudson was appointed the catering product manager, a role that kickstarted her time within product services.
Her impressive work in this area saw her rise to the position of executive manager of product and services in 2005.
During her time in this role, Qantas said that Hudson “oversaw transformation in catering, airports and network aimed at driving better commercial and customer outcomes.”
Hudson’s career then took her to Los Angeles in 2013 to become senior vice-president of the Americas’ arm of the airline.
She returned to Sydney in 2016 as the executive manager of sales and distribution, where she was responsible for the airline’s revenue through all sales channels.
Who is Vanessa Hudson? New CEO of Qantas Airways Ltd
Qantas, one of Australia’s largest airlines, has named Vanessa Hudson as its new CEO, succeeding Alan Joyce who is stepping down in November.
Hudson, who has been with the company for 28 years and has held several senior positions, will be the first female CEO in the airline’s 103-year history.
Hudson’s appointment comes after an extensive global search that considered nearly 40 candidates.
Qantas Chairman Richard Goyder said the board “firmly feel” that Hudson is the “right person to take Qantas forward.”
However, Hudson will be stepping into the top job at a challenging time for Qantas, with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) saying she faces an “uphill” road to “rebuild” the company’s reputation.
In February 2018, Hudson was appointed chief customer officer, overseeing all of Qantas’s customer service and strategy.
Then, in October 2019, she became the Qantas Group’s chief financial officer.
With Hudson’s extensive experience and history with Qantas, the company is hopeful that she will be able to steer the airline towards success in the challenging times ahead.