Virgin appoints a chief experience officer as part of executive restructure

Brand leader promoted as part of a new c-suite model for the airline group

Virgin Australia has unveiled a new executive leadership team, which included the promotion of current group executive of brand, marketing and public affairs, Danielle Keighery, to chief experience officer.

The new chief experience officer role will create a single point of accountability for the customer experience, across all brands. The wider appointments are part of a new, simplified organisational structure and an organisational ‘rightsizing’ program to drive greater business integration, customer focus, and to reduce costs.

The executive leadership team also includes a new CFO, chief commercial officer and chief operating officer. Virgin is also now looking for a chief strategy and technology officer.

The new group structure will integrate the corporate, operational and commercial functions of Virgin Australia Airlines, Virgin Australia Regional Airlines and Tigerair Australia into single functions and points of accountability. Each executive leader will be accountable for driving business outcomes for the group and maximising the value of the brands.

Virgin Australia Group CEO and managing director, Paul Scurrah, said he’s been reviewing the structure of the organisation since he joined in March with a view to simplify the current structure which has grown overly complex over time.

“Transitioning to the new group structure will streamline common functions and create greater opportunities, but will also identify efficiencies and duplication, which will form part of the organisational rightsizing program,” he said.

“Having group accountability at the executive level will deliver significant financial, operational and technological benefits, and it’s important we have an executive leadership team that is working together to deliver better financial outcomes for the group."

Speaking specifically about Keighery's appointment, Scurrah said the role is key to a new structure modelled on being more customer-led.

“The new structure is modelled on a customer value chain which results in the reorientation of our business towards the customer. Danielle’s primary goal is to excite interest in the Virgin Australia Group, and work closely alongside the chief commercial officer and chief operations officer to deliver the customer value chain," he said. 

“Danielle has been an integral executive team member for nine years leading the brand, marketing and public Affairs department and I am thrilled she’s accepted this position to drive our customer strategy into the future.”

The latest structure comes comes nearly two years after Virgin removed its CMO role as part of a former restructure, appointing Keighery at the time to group-level marketing. It was a move that at the time, saw elements of marketing and customer management remain separate across different divisions of the business.

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