Alan Joyce, the openly gay CEO of Australian airline Qantas, has resigned after being accused of participating in illegal ticket sales, Reuters reported.
Joyce, the company's head for 15 years, had been scheduled to retire in November. However, he said in a statement that he was leaving two months early due to "the focus on Qantas and events of the past" in the last few weeks.
Australia's consumer watchdog recently sued Qantas, alleging it sold tickets to approximately 8,000 flights in mid-2022 after they were cancelled, violating the country's consumer law. Qantas issued two apologies, citing tough industry conditions at the time.
However, there were other controversies. Joyce faced regular criticism for cutting jobs, including a 2011 decision to ground the entire airline fleet over an industrial dispute. Also, Qantas decided to let roughly $323 million of pandemic-era flight credits expire by the end of the yearreversing that move shortly after the regulator filed its lawsuit.
Back in July, Qantas announced that Chief Financial Officer Vanessa Hudson would replace Joyce, per the BBC. She will be the company's first woman CEO.