View Full Version : Oi! You Qantas Mob Smarten Yourself Up!

6th Jul 2005, 02:33
General Peter Cosgrove has joined your Board. Short back and sides all round, shoes polished, uniform clean, stomach in and chest out! Left Right Left RightLeft Right Left Right Left Right Left Right Left Right Left Right.............................

6th Jul 2005, 02:41
I think they need an "About Face" in there petty soon!

6th Jul 2005, 03:44
I don't know about Pete Cosgrove but we could do with Angus Houston. Some of his stuff in the RAAF on 'values based leadership' certainly wouldn't go astray in various segments of the QF group.

Geez Sunny, the General is a Sydney boy as well. I guess that's another example of QF's sydney centric focus! :}

Buster Hyman
6th Jul 2005, 03:50
Considering some of the employees there, he'll be more of a Rainbow Warrior!

king oath
6th Jul 2005, 04:20
He used to travel Business Class. Nothings gunna change, except he'll turn left at the front door on the 747s.

Howard Hughes
6th Jul 2005, 04:38
What does General Cosgrove know about running an airline?

There is no doubt that he is one of this country's greatest leaders of the past 30 years, if not ever, but does this equip him to run an airline? I think not!!

No wonder many corporate boards in this country are in total array. Surely we need to look past high profile people and find the most suitable people for these positions.

If my alter ego were alive today, he'd be a shoe in for the Qantas board, even though his corporate record was shaky to say the least...

Cheers, HH.


6th Jul 2005, 05:04
Keg, having personally worked for Angus Houston I can assure you that he is far too reasonable and too willing to listen to other opinions to work in QF management!!

6th Jul 2005, 05:28
It's interesting that Qantas can find a position for General Cosgrove on the board no less but hundreds of young Australians wanting to be cabin crew with our national carrier are forced to move off-shore.

As General Cosgrove is a former Australian of the Year lets see if he can persuade the board to return jobs to Australia (not holding my breath).

Chief Chook
6th Jul 2005, 05:29
After he's done with QF, send him across the pond to the Shakey Isles.
What a scruffy band of gypsies the Air Sheep techies there are - some with hats on, some not, some with coats on, others with a shirt only. And that was just one (heavy) crew.

The CC's I saw,were, at least, uniformly and neatly dressed.

6th Jul 2005, 06:44

Maybe General Cosgrove doesn't know about running an airline but can we look at the expertise he will bring to the board...

Moving large bodies of people
Catering for a large organisation
Negotiating - especially with politicians

... which will all prove useful - and I'm sure he has more qualities.

Give him a go before you give him a flogging.

Don Esson
6th Jul 2005, 07:20
Just because a guy was good at leading a bunch of Diggers doesn't mean that he'll be any good sitting at the top table of one of Australia's largest companies having a profile second to none.

Several expert commentatotrs were very critical (over the last week-end) of Cosgrove's time as Chief of the Defence Force in the sense that little or no strategy was developed, many major projects ran over time and over budget and generally poor top level management,as opposed to leadership, was the order of the day. The latter is required managing people, but strategy, vision etc should come from the Board for management to implement.

I recall that not too long ago (before the merger with TN) Qantas announced with great pride the recruitment of an Air Marshall of some kind from the RAAF. What a dismal flop he turned out to be? Shame is that the people that now run Qantas weren't around then, nor do they care about or learn from the follies of the past.

As an aside, surely the man is to be known as 'Mister Cosgrove' as opposed to 'General Cosrove' Is he still on the Reserve list and has he not resigned his commission. Anyway, why can't he leave the military rank behind now that he's playing with the big boys on Civvy Street?

6th Jul 2005, 08:16
Another fat arse sitting in a chair being paid to do nothing.

6th Jul 2005, 13:21
Dutch, probably right. Still, it'd be nice to have his skills at the table. Perhaps some of our people would learn a thing or three. I don't think I know of a CAF/CAS who has been more widely respected by the RAAF community than (now) ACM Houston. (Admittedly, my knowledge only goes back to Ray Funnel). He'll do a good job as CDF.

As for Cosgrove in QF, given that QF is about the same size as the ADF, I don't think it's a big stretch for him.

Buster Hyman
6th Jul 2005, 15:31
Don AN did something similar at the IOC many moons ago. Quality ADF people (i'm sure), were recruited but unfortunately, they had NFI about running an airline operation! They got shuffled here & there & eventually moved on...

Ronnie Honker
6th Jul 2005, 19:47
Singapore Airlines has had an ex-Army officer at the helm for the past few years.
What a failure that's been, for both airline and staff, by all accounts.

Lead Balloon
6th Jul 2005, 21:31
I've hardly ever seen a successful transition from Military Man to Business Man, especially from Military to Board!!

The two mindsets are fundamentally different. Being in the Military for all of your working life cripples you from making business decisions. A military life, whilst seeming admirable, has the effect of hand-feeding you and sheltering you from the big bad civilians who are lesser mortals than yourself.

I would think that the only reason to put a shameless self promoter on your board would be to help raise profile. Why? Because all of the average Joe Punters have been told Cosgrove is a "Demi-God" by our Liberal Government war propoganda press, and they believe it.

So of course they will believe it when Cosgrove helps Qantas lobby the Government and the punters for foreign ownership restrictions to be removed. Pretty cheap @ $100K/yr.

6th Jul 2005, 22:32
Mr Don Esson, rank has it's privileges and Lt. General Peter Cosgrove ret. has certainly earned his. Anyone with the rank of Major and above is entitled to use it after retirement.

king oath
6th Jul 2005, 22:49
Noboby had heard of Cosgrove before Little Johnny stuck his nose into others business and got himself and the UN involved in Timor. Suddenly this C.O. who can handle the media, say nothing contoversial and appear on news cameras as the quintessential Good Bloke is the media led Hero of the Military.

Later Little Johnnie rewards him for carrying out the party line in Timor, by promoting him to the top. Does anyone honestly think he got there without Little Johnnies help?

Yes he is a nice bloke. Yes he handles himself in a non controversial way in the media. But does that make him a Company Board member?

Remember the difference between public servants and the world of commerce is simple.

Public servants spend others money. Companies try to make money.

How can someone spoon fed in the Services and taught to feel superior to the great unwashed, reconcile the two opposing methods of operation.

Howard Hughes
6th Jul 2005, 23:11
Been chatting to Mrs Hughes about this one, her good self a long time public servant agrees with me on this one. The General is a 40 year public servant, he has no idea of what is required to run a private company.

Take the fuel issue for example, despite having the constraints of Government budgets, if the RAAF want fuel, they buy it, I expect there is no tankering of fuel to/from outports looking for the cheapest price, they simply buy it!

Whilst I stand by my previous comment that there is no doubting General Cosgroves leadership skills, I can also concede that he would have exemplary Government negotiating skills given his former position.

My point is however, if a negotiator is what Qantas is looking for, I suspect there would be a number of other more suitable candidates, in the form of high ranking officials from the areas of trade, foreign affairs and transport, who not only have the necessary Government negotiationg skills, but have a grasp of some of the more complex areas of the Qantas business.

I find it a little perplexing, that Australian boards are littered with people who have made a name for themselves, in areas other than the area which comes under their directorship.

This is not a go at the man himself, more a dig at the make up of boards in Australia.

Perhaps if directors had more experience in the affairs directly under their control, they would not pander in every decision to the accountants, their own self interest and the almighty dollar, moreover they may actually make decisions which improve the conditions for the front line employees, which in turn would make them more contented, improve their output and improve the companies bottom line...

Whilst this may be an overly simplistic viewpoint, it does have merit, rather than squeezing every last cent out of a slowly dwindling business, why not make some decisions that grow the business and improve conditions for all.

A happy employee, is a productive employee, productive employees=PROFITS.

Cheers, HH.


On eyre
6th Jul 2005, 23:48
Customer service in the forces???
Gift wrapped bombs - have a nice day. Spare me.
A PR exercise no less.

7th Jul 2005, 00:22
Its all about cost cuting and saving money! yeah right, have a look at what appeared this morning.

*****PETER Cosgrove's transition from celebrity soldier to businessman has got off to a flying start, with the newly retired general being appointed yesterday to the board of Qantas.

The $100,000-a-year-plus job as a non-executive director is the beginning of what pundits predict will be a lucrative corporate career for the country's best-known former soldier.

In addition to the $100,000 annual wage, he can earn $20,000 for each board he sits on or an additional $40,000 if he chairs a committee

jobs for the boys! what do we get for this amount of money.

7th Jul 2005, 00:34
Surely he can do no worse in the business arena than the highly mentored "senior apprentices," Jamie Packer and Lachlan Murdoch in their little foray!

7th Jul 2005, 02:11
If nothing else, as Lead Balloon suggests, he can open doors in Parliament House, pulls influence and is an imposing figure on the tube. Some people get paid a lot more for doing less (but not me). I'm sure he'll be offered other positions with other boards too. Nice retirement if you can get it. Good luck to him and a wise choice by Qantas.

7th Jul 2005, 07:51
he is exactly what QF needs on the board! somone who is bum chummies with little Johhny, and whoever is to be the new transport minister for QF!! he is there purely to win over the new minister.

7th Jul 2005, 11:09
How disappointing:( This celibrated soldier and leader already derided by the arm chair generals:confused: . He is a General!! Take a look at yourselves guys and girls. How many of you have lead a UN intervention into a foreign country with such success? He is educated and successful!!

His success or failure in this new endeavour should not be pre-judged. Before you start throwing stones look at your own achievements:sad: , what makes you so sure he won't succeed? You don't need to be a qualified pilot with an ATPL and 10000hrs to run an airline. He ran many airlines (and military ops) whilst in Timor!! Your comments say more about you than this great Australian. And yes I know General Cosgrove and I have had the privilege to work for him (as some of my contemporaries). I wish him well and I hope that some of those out there won't sabotage his influence

I have trolled through PPRuNe since the middle to late '90s and I remember those that said that Virgin would never get off the ground! I see now that most are sad, bitter, uninformed men and women who would rather denigrate than celibrate.

I wish Genral Cosgrove all the best with QANTAS, the ADF will be poorer for his departure and the men and women of QANTAS the richer.

I have already said too much and must have had too much red wine as I would normally let this kind of slur pass by but I feel that General Cosgrove should be given the benefit of the doubt before you sharpen your knives!

Capn Bloggs
7th Jul 2005, 12:07
I find it a little perplexing, that Australian boards are littered with people who have made a name for themselves, in areas other than the area which comes under their directorship.
How dare you say that about our next President! ;)

7th Jul 2005, 20:07
Now will you qantas pilots please be putting your jackets on!
At least you always wear your caps.

8th Jul 2005, 01:57
Cosgrove marches on to the Qantas board
Crikey Daily - Wednesday, 6 July

Qantas has taken the "gunboat" route to fix up its security problems by appointing the just-retired defence force chief, General Peter Cosgrove, to its board. His appointment was announced this morning by Qantas chairman and networker par excellence, "Dame" Margaret Jackson.

Cosgrove only stepped down late last week and will take up the Qantas gig from today, which is unusually quick, so negotiations presumably began while he was still working out his three-year contract, which was worth $420,000 a year.

Having notched up 40 years of service in the ADF, Cosgrove will be on one of those fabulous defence pensions which explain about two-thirds of the federal government's $90 billion unfunded superannuation black hole.

As a Qantas director he'll get a base of $100,000 a year, plus $20,000 for each board sub-committee he joins or $40,000 if he chairs a committee.

Then you have the dozens of free flights that are available for directors, specified executives and their beneficiaries, which are only revealed obliquely in the annual report through the FBT that Qantas incurs.

For instance, "Dame" Margaret gets a hefty $400,000 in cash for chairing Qantas, but the annual report notes she got $92,656 in "non-cash benefits" last year and $9,300 in "post employment travel benefits," bringing the total to almost $500,000.

Qantas now has one of the most powerful boards in the country which includes James Packer and former BHP CEO Paul Anderson. But this latest appointment looks like a sensible move.

Jackson is already very close to the PM, having reportedly knocked back the offer to be Australia's first female governor general a few years back. Having lost the minister for Qantas, John Anderson, the national airline's powerful federal lobbying team will be strengthened by having the prime minister's favourite soldier on board.

While General Cosgrove doesn't hail from the air force, his leadership skills, knowledge of often-botched defence procurement deals, government contacts and general defence expertise will be invaluable to Qantas in the present heightened security environment.

It's about time Australian business and the defence force started working more closely as this has been a hallmark of the American system for years.

The recent appointment of retired DFAT secretary Ashton Calvert to the Rio Tinto board is another example of this at work and various businesses with large operations in the US should be knocking on the door of Michael Thawley, who has just completed a successful five-year stint as Australia's ambassador in Washington.

8th Jul 2005, 03:50
Ahh, Ex-military personnel running commercial airlines. Not a nice time ahead for employess of the "rED rAT" :(
Unfortunately ex-miltary people start employment assuming they know everything and then some.

IMHO ex-miltary experience is a handicap not an advantage to employment and a reality check is quickly required for them to adapt and change. :sad: :sad:

Howard Hughes
8th Jul 2005, 10:03
It seems the good general has another position to add to his already impressive resume!!

Courtesy of the Deloitte website:

Peter Cosgrove joins Deloitte

Published: 08/7/05

General Peter Cosgrove AC MC has been appointed as a consultant to professional services firm, Deloitte, effective 1 July.

"We are delighted that Peter has joined Deloitte as a consultant, where he will be working with our senior executive team. He will also be helping with Deloitte’s leadership development and his involvement will help us fast track our young leaders," said Mr Giam Swiegers, CEO of Deloitte Australia.

See the full story here!! (http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/press_release/0,1014,sid%253D5526%2526cid%253D87982,00.html)

Cheers, HH.


8th Jul 2005, 13:17
It is very interesting indeed to hear the knockers of General Cosgroves appointment to the Qantas board.

Given that the majority of these knockers are obviously try hard wannabees with no aviation or business experience I take little note of their opinions. Stick to the aero club and MS flight simulator.

To the others, the reason that General Cosgrove has been appointed to the Qantas board is his extensive experience in security, procurement, leadership as well as his extensive contacts within government and the image he brings to the Qantas brand.

titan uranus
8th Jul 2005, 15:10
the whole board thing is a total crock, seriously...what is happening to the world? The disparity that exists between what is perceived as necessary and its net worth, as opposed to the value returned to those who really keep the company in existence.

Lead Balloon
8th Jul 2005, 18:21
Unfortunately - Perception is Reality.

I think that the real problem people on this forum are having with people commenting in the negative on Cosgrove's appointment is that by implication anyone ex-military or public service is not qualified for truly running a business. So if you are ex-military, like Cosgrove, you too are tarred with the same brush!

Ask any punter the following - who was the last top-dog at the Defence Department, before Cosgrove?

Q. Why don't they know?

A. Because the last guy didn't tie himself to the political process and the media and didn't abuse his position to be a shameless self promoter.

So what are these Companies getting? Good PR for cheap. No serious person is going to believe that Cosgrove will offer deep insight with his "leadership and ANZAC spirit" into well established firms. What he will offer is a "trusted voice" to the punters when a nasty needs to be announced. Qantas has done the right thing for its shareholders in this regard.

Howard Hughes
8th Jul 2005, 23:12
Given that the majority of these knockers are obviously try hard wannabees with no aviation or business experience I take little note of their opinions. Stick to the aero club and MS flight simulator.

Yes that's right, that's what we are...;)

Cheers, HH.


NB: An opinion is merely that, an OPINION, it is neither right nor wrong, it is not a factual account of events.

Rocket Rob
9th Jul 2005, 03:05
The world is full of experts cannot understand why you knockers are not on these boards, lots of self proclaimed experiences but hey "your not understood are you" think that means not bloody capable give the guy a go and no I will not bother to read and respond to your upcomming bull.

Lead Balloon
10th Jul 2005, 02:57
Rocket Boy!

I do sit on a board and have seen good and bad (myself included).

I stand by my inference that a recent ex-military type is not a particularly savvy business type on the whole. For Qantas' sake let us hope he is the exception. Being ex-military myself, I know how long it took me to reset my brain after only a few years of indoctrination into the milk fed life of a soldier.

BTW. "Your not understood" is a different statement to "You're not understood". This is an example of the type of ex-military grammar that would be funny if it weren't tragic. It's okay for me to have a go at you because, you won't be reading my reply, will you?

titan uranus
10th Jul 2005, 09:09
yes, Im sure it will be millions well spent

11th Jul 2005, 02:30
Touche UR_Anus :)

Maybe he could introduce "bastardization" to the Qantas ranks :0

That should stop any dissention in the ranks.
Seems to still work for ths ADF :) :)

Howard Hughes
11th Jul 2005, 02:44
Maybe he could introduce "bastardization" to the Qantas ranks
I do believe it already exists.....;)

Cheers, HH.


11th Jul 2005, 02:51
I suspected as much HH :)
Havent worked for them since early nineties.

Only members of the "Masonic Lodge" appeared to progress their careers. Maybe thats all different now ?????

Rocket Rob
13th Jul 2005, 07:48
"Lead Ballon"

Thanks for the grammar lesson (yeah I know, said I would not respond) but this site does not run spell checker (and grammar) so who cares if that's all you can worry about.

Had to look around this site and well at least you got a bit angry to fire one back at me, keeps the old brain going sure as hell cannot (can't, ) be bothered by trivial things.

13th Jul 2005, 07:54
I don't know about Peter Cosgrove being "one of our greatest leaders in the last 30 years". Says who? The guy is nothing more than a publicist for the army. That was the role he played in Timor and suddenly he's a friggin hero.

Chimbu chuckles
13th Jul 2005, 10:53
The last company I worked for that employed an ex Australian Army senior Officer to run things was destroyed inside 6 mths.

This idiot turned up just a few weeks after getting out after 25+ years in the Army and was so ill equiped to cope with civil life it was bizarre.

I know a Psycologist making a very tidy living unbrainwashing ex mil officers...sad but true.

Career mil, particularly ex army, officers who achieve senior rank are very rarely able to function in a system where people don't;

1/. Snap to attention at there mere presence,
2/. Respond to orders with "YES SIR!"

Without a LOT of retraining.

When their perceived subordinates not only refuse to react as above but also challenge them over stupid decisions they self destruct...it is beyond them.

Give the man a good pension and a greatfull nation's thanks...then tell him to go fishing!

14th Jul 2005, 10:32
Chimbu, with the greatest respect, your generalisation is bull$hit.

Maple21, before you open your mouth you should at least attempt to gain a little knowledge in the topic to which you gibber about. I will only say one does not get awarded the Military Cross for pushing a pen.

Sandy Freckle
14th Jul 2005, 19:10
Gotta agree with Red here.

Chimbu, there are just as many clowns in the civilian world. I know - I've seen both. You get them in all walks of life. Unfortunately, people like you tend to generalise and categorise to suit your own argument.

And Maple? Do a web search and find out why a Military Cross is awarded, and just what Peter Cosgrove did to earn his. Then tell us all what YOUR credentials are.

Or you can just shut your pathetic cake hole.

14th Jul 2005, 22:27
I have had the same expereince as Chimbu.

One used to boast to anyone who would listen how he didn't have a pair of shoes until he went to secondary school in Kalgoorlie, he went on to become an Airforce Officer and subsequently ran a large Australian company into the ground. He is doing same to an NZ company at present. He has mental problems.

Another one behaved like an Easter Island statue but was not as useful.

A few others I've met were nice blokes but ineffectual.

There are a few very good ones around.

As for Board appointments. I don't understand the logic of the appointment, however it may be justified by his ties to Government, especially Defence. It may also be justified by keeping someone else OFF the Board.

As for how Boards work, their function is about Risk Management and Corporate Governance. If you are a Board wannabee who thinks it is easy being on a Board or working to a Board, think again:} ......................

Sandy Freckle
15th Jul 2005, 01:25
The obvious inference from your post Sunfish, is that Peter Cosgrove must at best have mental problems, or at worst be an ineffectual Easter Island statue?

Spare me.

Show everybody your claim to fame why don't you. Instead of casting "nasturtiums" at both Qantas and ex-military personnel, why dont you give us all your resume? Tell us all why you are no longer a CEO, most likely of a fish and chip store....:rolleyes:?

Are you are shareholder of Qantas, Sunfish? If not, then the appointment of Peter Cosgrove to the board is NONE of YOUR BUSINESS. So go away.....

15th Jul 2005, 01:56
sandy freckle... is "sunfish" getting up your goat? nice one Re: K&K references!

gucci gal

15th Jul 2005, 03:03
Sunfish, your last post describes 90% of the general "business" population, nothing to do with having been in the military at all. You will find that that mold fits the vast majority of inept, inefectual and "mental" managers who have risen through the ranks not on ability, but purely because of political manouvering and plain old horse traiding.

Why some of you have your knickers in a twist is really beyond me...............

mr hanky
15th Jul 2005, 03:20

No idea whether Cosgrove will be any good or not, but I have to point out that:

1. You have been a 'not infrequent' (pathological?) critic of QF for many reasons.

2. In the last 6 years the QF share price has done nothing but drop from ~$5 to ~$3.30 and stagnate there.

3. While profitable, QF arguably has shown little strategic direction beyond cost-cutting, at the expense of customer service and staff morale.


4. Points 1 to 3 have all occurred under a very much non-military board - people like Margaret Jackson (how's Southcorp been doing in recent years?), Trevor 'Offset Alpine' Kennedy, and that great born-and-bred-to-business, totally-unpolluted-by-the-military, success story, James Packer.

Are you really arguing that Cosgrove can be very much worse?

15th Jul 2005, 04:51
Please note that I have nothing against Cosgrove at all, still less ex military persons. I have noted that perhaps the ones I've run into (with one or two exceptions) were not ideally suited to being managers - giving orders? Yes! But managing people?

Also I have not criticized the appointment. I just do not understand why it was made. Please explain?