Virgin CFO Sankar Narayan to Leave in September

30th Jun 2015

After four year as the carrier's CFO, Sankar Narayan is set to exit Virgin Australia and pursue other ventures. He will be replaced by current executive general manager finance Geoff Smith.

Virgin Australia has not yet revealed if Mr. Smith will be a permanent solution for the role, or it will start a search for another candidate.

Virgin Australia's CFO Since April 2011

Mr. Narayan has been Virgin Australia's CFO since April 2011. Prior to that, he had not worked in the airline industry. However, he has served in the same role at Astro All Asia Networks, Fairfax Media, Rural Press, Foxtel and Shopfast.

He was also one of the key people in transforming Virgin Australia from a low-cost airline to full-service carrier with both budget and regional airlines.

The now-former CFO of Virgin Australia had that job since about a year after the company's chief executive John Borghetti took helm. However, unlike Qantas International chief Gareth Evans, Narayan was never viewed as a top contender for Borghetti's place.

In a statement about Narayan's departure from the company, Borghetti said:

"Sankar has made a significant contribution to the group over the past four years, including building a strong financial operating platform, spearheading the company's transition to a single reservation system and designator code, strengthening the company's balance sheet and diversifying its funding sources through innovative initiatives."

Mr. Narayan leaves the Australian airline only a month after Elizabeth Bryan replaced Neil Chatfield as the chairman. Ms. Bryan was not a member of the Virgin Board.

Sankar Narayan is set to take up the same role at a yet unnamed tech-related company. This will be his 7th chief financial officer role since the late 1990s.

New Velocity Frequent Flyer Program Head to be Named Soon

The airline is also expected to name a successor for it Velocity frequent flyer program boss Neil Thompson.

According to analysts, Virgin will have a pre-tax loss of AUS$69.50 million in this financial year. The carrier should also return to post an underlying pre-tax profit of AUS$197.60 in financial 2015/16.