Traveltek

Published on Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Leigh Clifford appointed Chairman of Qantas

The Chairman of Qantas Airways Limited, Ms Margaret Jackson, today announced that Leigh Clifford would replace her as Chairman of Qantas when she retired at the conclusion of the Qantas AGM in November 2007.

Mr Clifford will fill a casual non-executive Director vacancy on the Qantas Board with immediate effect.

"My fellow Directors and I are pleased that someone of Leigh's international standing has accepted our invitation to join the Qantas Board.”  "I am personally delighted to be passing the mantle of Qantas Chairman to someone of Leigh's calibre and look forward to working closely with Leigh to ensure a smooth transition on my retirement," Ms Jackson said.

Mr Clifford stepped down from the board of Rio Tinto and retired as Chief Executive on 30 April 2007, with his executive and board career with Rio Tinto has spanning some 37 years, including positions as Director of Rio Tinto plc and Rio Tinto Limited  for 13 and 12 years respectively.

Mr Clifford also occupied a wide variety of operational and marketing roles in the coal and metalliferous operations of the Group in Australia and overseas.

"As Chief Executive Officer of Rio Tinto plc since April 2000, Leigh has led the company through a period of significant growth, including a number of important acquisitions and the consolidation of Rio Tinto's position in Asia," Ms Jackson said.

Mr Clifford has served as a non-executive director of Barclays Bank plc since October 2004 and was appointed to the Bechtel Board of Counselors in May 2007.

He was formerly a member of the Coal Industry Advisory Board of the International Energy Agency for a number of years and its Chairman from 1998 to 2000. He was also previously a director of  Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.

Mr Clifford holds a Bachelor of Engineering and a Master of Engineering Science from the University of Melbourne.

Mr Clifford said that he was honoured to be selected as the new Chairman of Qantas, adding, "I have watched the aviation industry and Qantas over the years and have great admiration for Qantas and the team at Qantas.”   “I have given the invitation a great deal of thought and am enthusiastic about working with Margaret Jackson, the Board and management through a smooth transition period and leading the Board as its Chairman from November."

Mr Clifford will return to Australia permanently in November, after completing his commitments with Rio Tinto.

Report by The Mole

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