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Rod Eddington
Personal information
Full name Roderick Ian Eddington
Born 2 January 1950 (1950-01-02) (age 60)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Batting style Left-handed
Bowling style Slow left-arm orthodox
Domestic team information
Years Team
1975–1976 Oxford University
First-class debut 26 April 1975 Oxford University v Sussex
Last First-class 23 June 1976 Oxford University v Sussex
Career statistics
Competition First-class
Matches 8
Runs scored 130
Batting average 13.00
100s/50s 0/0
Top score 24
Balls bowled 600
Wickets 8
Bowling average 41.12
5 wickets in innings 0
10 wickets in match 0
Best bowling 3/48
Catches/stumpings 4/–
Source: CricketArchive, 16 December 2009

Sir Roderick Ian Eddington (born 2 January 1950, Perth, Western Australia) is an Australian businessman. He is currently chair of the government body Infrastructure Australia, a director of News Corporation, continuing his long association with that company, and has served in other senior positions including as former CEO of British Airways.

Contents

Education and career

Eddington graduated from the University of Western Australia with first class BEng Honours in 1972 followed by a MEng Sci. Being the 1974 Rhodes Scholar from Western Australia,[1] he completed his DPhil in the Department of Engineering Science at Oxford University and played eight first-class cricket matches for Oxford in 1975 and 1976.[2]

Eddington joined the Swire Group in 1979, working for its subsidiary Cathay Pacific, before being appointed Managing Director in 1992. Continuing his association with the airline industry; News Limited, subsidiary of News Corporation, appointed Eddington Chairman of Ansett Australia in January 1997, four years before the airline failed. News Corp had taken control of the airline with TNT in 1979. Eddington was appointed Deputy Chairman of News Limited in September 1998. He was further promoted to the News Corporation board in September 1999. In a timely manoeuvre, News Corp sold off Ansett; the airline eventually became insolvent in 2001. Eddington managed to escape blame for the poor financial state of the airline, apparently aided by his board membership of News Corporation, as other were loath to criticise him publicly. The blame for the collapse has tended to be worn by the Air New Zealand management, who bought the airline from News Corporation in 2000.

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British Airways CEO

Eddington replaced former BA CEO Bob Ayling on 2 May 2000. Early tests of his leadership were the abandonment of Ayling's corporate relaunch in early 2001, the ethnic-art tailfins, and the 11 September 2001 attacks on New York and Washington D.C. which proved disastrous for many airlines.

Following a loss of £200m in 2002, Eddington's "Future Size and Shape" cost-cutting programme allowed BA to report a profit of £135m in 2003, despite a decrease in turnover. Eddington declared: "These are good results in one of the toughest years in living memory", and while this can be expected from a CEO trying to reassure investors, it was against a climate of the Iraq War and SARS.

BA's relatively steady performance in difficult times has not been without incident: the carrier has recently suffered embarrassing delays at its Heathrow hub which it blamed on staffing shortages, bad weather and technical difficulties.

The decision to permanently retire the British Airways Concorde in CY2003 was made by Eddington, and his action remains highly controversial.

Eddington stood down as Chief Executive Officer of British Airways on 30 September 2005, after more than five years in the position. He then returned to Australia to take up a position as the head of the Victorian Major Events Association, succeeding Steve Vizard.

Eddington received a knighthood in 2005 for services to the aviation industry. As an Australian he is entitled to use the prefix "Sir", as Australia is a Commonwealth Realm.

Career as a company director

As of February 2006, Eddington was a non-executive board member of:

  • JPMorgan - Non-Executive Chairman For Australia And New Zealand
  • News Corporation - non-executive director of publicly listed Delaware, United States, based company
  • John Swire & Sons Pty Ltd. - non-executive director of Australian proprietary subsidiary of Hong Kong based privately held company, John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd.
  • Rio Tinto Group - non-executive director of both publicly listed companies in the group

Eddington also served on the board of Allco Finance Group, where he was one of three non-executive directors to approve Allco's ill fated acquisition of Rubicon Holdings.

A previously-announced plan for Eddington to become Chairman of ANZ Banking Group of Australia and New Zealand was first delayed from February 2009 to February 2010; then finally scuttled on 9 August 2009. It is possible that his Directorship of scandal-plagued Rio Tinto Group made such a position for him at ANZ untenable, as corporate espionage by Rio Tinto against the Chinese Government is at issue.

Government reports

Transport Study in Britain

On 1 December 2006, Eddington published a UK government-sponsored report into the future of Britain's transport infrastructure. The Eddington Transport Study set out the case for action to improve road and rail networks, as a "crucial enabler of sustained productivity and competitiveness". The report's main conclusions were that Britain has transport networks that provide the right connections, in the right places, to support the journeys that matter to economic performance. But roads in particular were in serious danger of becoming so congested, the economy would suffer.

At the launch of the report Eddington told journalists and transport industry representatives introducing road pricing to encourage drivers to drive less was an "economic no-brainer". There was, he said "no attractive alternative". It would cut congestion by half by 2025, and bring benefits to the British economy totalling £28b.[3]

The report also called for a programme of improvements to existing road and rail networks, the expansion of key airports, and adoption of the general principle that travellers should pay for the external costs of the pollution and congestion their journeys cause.

Transport Study in Victoria, Australia

Eddington has since delivered a report to the Victorian Government of Australia, the East West Link Needs Assessment report, which was met with mixed reactions. Economic commentators criticized the cost-benefit ratios of Eddington's proposals, which on Eddington's own analysis were marginal at best. [4] The proposed East-West freeway tunnel linking the Eastern and Tullamarine Freeways, to cost $9 billion, in particular was met with opposition.

Personal life

In 1994 he married Young Sook Park, and they have a son and daughter.

References

External links


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