August 12, 2022

While airline CEOs often aren’t popular with employees or customers, it’s rare that they get targeted in this way…

Alan Joyce’s home was attacked overnight

The home of Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and his husband was attacked by (seemingly) protestors on Monday night, as the exterior was plastered with eggs, toilet paper, and even fruit. This was only discovered in the daylight on Tuesday morning.

For context, in May 2022, Joyce moved into the 19 million AUD (~12.8 million USD) home on Sydney’s lower north shore. The four story home was originally built in 1908, but was completely rebuild in 2015. The home is 631 square meters (~6,800 square feet), and has six bedrooms.

The optics of Joyce moving into this home ended up being pretty controversial, given the extent to which many Qantas employees have been without pay for the past couple of years during the pandemic. So seeing the CEO upgrading to a home this big probably didn’t send a great message to many in terms of shared sacrifice.

Admittedly the money used for the home was likely made long before the pandemic, as Joyce has been one of the highest paid executives in Australia for years. He has been CEO of the airline since 2008, so suffice it to say he has had quite a long tenure.

Were employees or customers behind this?

It’s not yet known who may have been behind this incident, as the culprits weren’t caught at the time. Presumably it was someone frustrated with Qantas, but that leaves a lot of people:

  • It could have been customers; Qantas hasn’t exactly been fast with flight refunds, and Qantas also hasn’t been running a reliable operation in recent weeks (like so many airlines)
  • It could have been employees; Joyce is known for being a pretty ruthless negotiator with labor groups, and during the pandemic many employees were put on leave, with some still not having returned to their jobs

This is the first time that something like this has happened to Joyce. However, in 2017, Joyce was pied at a business conference in Perth by a homophobic person who wasn’t happy with how Qantas was coming out in favor of marriage equality.

It goes without saying that attacking someone’s property in this way is unacceptable. That being said (and it’s probably a sad reflection of what we’re used to seeing in the United States), at least it wasn’t violent.

Bottom line

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s home was attacked on Monday night, with some disgruntled people throwing toilet paper, eggs, and fruit at it. It’s not yet known who was behind this, though presumably it could have been either frustrated employees or customers. Qantas isn’t exactly a particularly popular company at the moment, as is the case with so many airlines.

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