Rod Eddington


Rod Eddington

Sir Roderick Ian Eddington (born 1950, Perth, Western Australia) is an Australian businessman. He is currently a director of News Corporation, continuing his long association with that company.

Education

Eddington graduated from the University of Western Australia with first class Honours in Engineering Science in 1972 followed by a Master of Engineering Science. Being the 1974 Rhodes Scholar from Western Australia [cite web
url = http://www.development.uwa.edu.au/alumni_relations/interesting_alumni#6
title = Interesting Alumni
accessdate = 2007-04-30
author = University of Western Australia, Office of Development
] , 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.cite web| last = Williamson| first = Martin| url = http://content-www.cricinfo.com/england/content/player/12606.html| title = Rod Eddington| work = England players and officials| publisher = Cricinfo
accessdate = 2008-03-30
]

Early career

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; airline eventually became insolvent in 2001.

British Airways

Eddington replaced former BA CEO Bob Ayling on May 2 2000. Early tests of his leadership were the abandonment of Ayling's corporate relaunch in early 2001, the Ethnic art tailfins, and the September 11, 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.

Eddington stood down as Chief Executive Officer of British Airways on September 30, 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.

Later career

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

The "Eddington Report"

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. [ cite web
title = Speech by Rod Eddington to the Commonwealth Club in London on 1 December 2006
author = Rod Eddington
year = 2006
month = December
url = http://www.dft.gov.uk/162259/187604/206711/speech
publisher = Department for Transport
]

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.

Other reports

Sir Rod has since delivered a report to the Victorian Government of Australia, the East West Link Needs Assessment report, which was met with mixed reactions. The proposed East-West freeway tunnel linking the Eastern and Tullamarine Freeways, to cost $9 billion, in particular was met with hostility.

References


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