Joyce to press charges after pie attack, says 'no attempt at bullying us into suppressing our voice will work'

Alan Joyce. Photo: Getty.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is taking action against the man who hit him in the face with a lemon meringue pie at a media conference in WA yesterday.

According to The Australian Tony Overheu, 67, will be charged by police for his attack on Joyce.

He says his motivation for the incident was the executive’s opposition to corporations which engage in “social engineering”.

He has since written an apology letter to the Qantas boss.

See to attack here.

Meanwhile Joyce says it won’t stop him from continuing “to be vocal on those social and community issues”.

“It’s important for our shareholders, our employees, and our customers. It’s called good corporate social responsibility,” he said, according to The Australian.

“Qantas has always spoken up on gender issues, on LGBTI issues, on Indigenous issues and we will continue to do so and no attempt at bullying us into suppressing our voice will work.

“Yesterday has reinvigorated me in actual fact. It’s really encouraged me to be out there and to continue to be out there and express my views even more strongly than I have done in the past.”

It’s the second time in three months that Joyce has defended to social responsibility of the airline.

In March, 20 of the country’s most senior CEOs, including Ian Narev of the Commonwealth Bank, Brian Hartzer of Westpac, Cindy Hook of Deloitte, and Andy Penn of Telstra, signed an open letter calling for the federal government to take action on marriage equality.

Immigration minister Peter Dutton attacked the CEOs, singling out Joyce saying it was “particularly galling” that the Qantas boss was spending “shareholders money, not in pursuit of a greater return on capital or a greater service for customers, but on a personal agenda.”

He said that companies should “stick to their knitting” and not get involved in social issues like same sex marriage, and that CEOs should only really campaign on issues relevant to their businesses.

In response to Dutton’s comments, Joyce said while a company’s first responsibility is to shareholders, “you’re automatically part of the community you operate in”.

“Society is your customer base. And just because there is money changing hands doesn’t mean it is only ever an economic transaction. There’s an implicit social contract between companies and communities – just ask any brand that has ever been on the receiving end of a boycott,” he continued. Read more on that here.

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