Australian Federation of Travel Agents CEO Jayson Westbury has resigned, following comments he made about A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw last week.
Westbury claimed Grimshaw needed “to be given a firm uppercut or a slap across the face”, in reference to ACA‘s reporting on travel customers unable to get refunds for holidays booked prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Despite issuing an apology yesterday, AFTA confirmed Westbury had stood down later that day.
“His choice of words cannot be condoned. His work history stands in good stead for the service he has provided to the travel industry and AFTA’s members,” AFTA chairman Tom Manwaring said in a statement.
The resignation is effective immediately.
Grimshaw addressed the issue on air.
“Jayson Westbury had one job. As CEO of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents he was supposed to help them navigate the devastating effects of this COVID-19 pandemic and somehow address the scathing criticism from customers who now couldn’t travel and couldn’t get refunds,” she said.
“Instead, he chose to shoot the messenger in a disturbing personal attack on me.”
ACA spoke with Westbury prior to his resignation.
“I unreservedly apologise for that statement, it was a bad choice of words by me. It was at a heightened time, there is a lot member disgruntlement. I have extended my apologies to Ms Grimshaw directly through a note that I’ve written to her, that she’ll receive in the mail. I can do no more than apologise for those comments unreservedly,” the former CEO said.
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