Alan Joyce had some choice words for Geoff Dixon this week

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. Photo: Getty / Greg Wood

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and his predecessor Geoff Dixon once had a close relationship, but it famously all fell apart not long after the changing of the guard at the airline.

Dixon and a small group of investors built a stake in the airline and started agitating for changes in strategy, including dropping the alliance with Emirates and potentially selling off Jetstar.

Qantas retaliated by reallocating a $44 million contribution to Tourism Australia, which Dixon was chairing at the time.

Joyce, who has directed a painful turnaround plan involving thousands of layoffs but which has resulted in airline returning to profitability, was asked about this all going to cactus at a business function in Melbourne earlier this week.

“I’ve never been a big fan of George W Bush. But George W Bush gave one very good quote. Which was, ‘I owe my successors my silence’,” Joyce said. “When you are a leader of a company or a country, you should not be out there past your date of running it trying to influence or make commentary on it. Certainly when I retire, that is going to be it.”

A leader running a country “past [their] date of running it trying to influence or make commentary on it”? Someone else comes to mind.

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