Flight Centre Limited chairman Norman Fussell today announced his intention to retire from his Board position at the end of the current fiscal year.
Mr Fussell will stand down on his 10th anniversary as chairman of the company’s Board of Directors, with Flight Centre Limited managing director Graham “Skroo” Turner to become executive chairman on July 1, 2005.
“I feel this anniversary represents the ideal opportunity for me to lighten my corporate workload and to devote more time to my other interests,” Mr Fussell said.
“It has been incredibly interesting to chair a company that has grown at more than 20 per cent since its float and to have direct input into the people, marketing and expansion issues associated with a growth rate of this magnitude. I am privileged to have worked with such a committed and talented group of people.
“I have no doubt that Skroo will lead this company to another decade of great achievement.
“He is a proven leader and strategist, with an amazing record of success. He has the skills and the vision to lead this company forward as chairman.”
Mr Turner said Mr Fussell had successfully guided Flight Centre Limited through a period of rapid global expansion. During his 10 years as chairman, the company has increased shop numbers from less than 250 to more than 1200 and won a string of awards, including the title of Australia’s Best Employer twice.
“Norm has made a magnificent contribution,” Mr Turner said. “We thank him for his hard work and dedication over the past 10 years and wish him all the best for the future.
“Norm has been a visionary chairman and has provided direction and stability. He has diligently served the best interests of shareholders and given generously of his time.”
In addition to his role of executive chairman, Mr Turner will be responsible for the company’s global corporate travel management network, FCm Travel Solutions. Chief executive officer Shane Flynn will be responsible for day-to-day operations in the company’s global retail, product and shared services area.
“FCm Travel Solutions, our main corporate brand, has significant growth potential internationally, while the Flight Centre leisure brand and the associated shared services continue to expand rapidly,” Mr Turner said.
“This new structure will allow Shane and myself to really focus on these two significantly different but crucial business areas as they enter the next exciting phases in their global development. We will be better placed to identify opportunities for improvement, which will make the company stronger overall.”
Flight Centre Limited’s Board currently includes:
- Norman Fussell – non executive chairman
- Graham Turner – managing director (executive)
- Shane Flynn – executive director and chief executive officer
- Peter Barrow – non executive director
- Howard Stack – non executive director
Upon Mr Fussell’s retirement, Flight Centre Limited intends to expand its Board. Two independent, non-executive directors will join the Board in due course.
Mr Flynn said the company would release its third quarter results on April 28, 2005. He said the fourth quarter was traditionally the company’s busiest trading period.
“We reaffirm that our full year guidance is a flat profit result in line with 2003/04, as announced previously,” he said.