Virgin Australia CEO negotiating terms of exit with new owner Bain

FILE PHOTO: Travellers stand at a Virgin Australia Airlines counter at Kingsford Smith International Airport during the coronavirus outbreak, in Sydney, Australia, March 18, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo

Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd Chief Executive Paul Scurrah is negotiating the terms of his exit with the airline’s new owner Bain Capital, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Local media reports said Scurrah had clashed with Bain about the strategy for Australia’s second-biggest airline and was trying to steer it away from becoming a budget carrier.

On Wednesday, a major employee union said it had suspended bargaining talks with the Brisbane-based airline, pending clarification on Scurrah’s status.

The people, who were not authorised to speak with media, told Reuters that Scurrah’s exit was expected to be announced within days.

Bain still plans to keep Virgin’s lounges and business-class offering in contrast to reports that it would become a budget carrier, though not as premium a level as that desired by Scurrah, one of the people said.

The Sydney Morning Herald on Wednesday evening first reported the exit talks.

Virgin and Bain declined to comment.

Reuters was not immediately able to reach Scurrah for comment. He said on Wednesday he was not in the habit of commenting on speculation when asked about rumours he would be replaced, according to The Australian Financial Review.

Australian Services Union Assistant National Secretary Emeline Gaske said in a statement she was deeply concerned with the reports Bain was reneging on its commitment to keep Virgin a full-service airline supporting a workforce of 6,000.

Reuters

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.