Leigh Clifford

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Leigh Clifford

Born1948 (1948)
ResidenceMelbourne, Australia

Richard Leigh Clifford, AO (born 1948) is an Australian businessman and corporate executive who served as Chairman of Qantas from 2007 to 2018.[2][3] Clifford was appointed Chairman at the company's November 2007 Annual General Meeting, succeeding Margaret Jackson. He is also Chairman of Bechtel Australia.

Early life and education[edit]

Clifford was educated at the Anglican Church Grammar School and the University of Melbourne, where he graduated with Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) and Master of Engineering Science degrees.[4]


His career with the Rio Tinto Group, starting as a mining engineer and retiring as chief executive,[5] spanned 37 years and included time both in Australia and overseas.[2][6]

Clifford was the Chief Executive Officer of the Rio Tinto Group from April 2000 to April 2007. He succeeded Peter Costello as the number-one ticketholder for the Essendon Football Club in March 2008.[7] However he was, in turn, replaced by Lindsay Tanner in September 2009.[8] Clifford also served as chairman of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute.[2]

On 28 June 2018, Clifford announced his intention to resign as Chairman of Qantas. Former Wesfarmers CEO Richard Goyder replaced Clifford as Chairman in October 2018.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Clifford currently resides in Melbourne, Australia. He is married and has two daughters.[1]


  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ a b c Qantas Chairman
  3. ^ New Qantas Chairman announced
  4. ^ Mason, James (2011). Churchie: The Centenary Register. Brisbane, Australia: The Anglican Church Grammar School. ISBN 978-0-646-55807-3.
  5. ^ "Ex-Broken Hill engineer new Qantas chairman". ABC News. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Leigh Clifford's spectacular journey". AusIMM Bulletin. 10 February 2018. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
  7. ^ Leigh Clifford the new Number One Ticketholder - Essendon Football Club - News News Story Archived 22 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 May 2012. Retrieved 30 October 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Ex-Wesfarmers boss Richard Goyder to take over as Qantas chairman". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 June 2018.