A pie to the face probably wasn’t what the Chief Executive of Australia’s largest airline was expecting this morning when he took the stage to deliver a speech on leadership this morning.

The unexpected incident was a shock to Alan Joyce and some 500 people in the audience (as was it appalling), but it was the CEO’s swift response that really left an impression.

Let’s backtrack.

The Qantas boss was only a few minutes into his keynote speech at the West Business Leadership Matters event at the Hyatt Regency when a man believed to be in his 60s or early 70s came up on stage.

He approached Joyce from behind and smashed a pie in his face, Perth Now reported.

Shocking right?

Immediately after, the man walked off the stage and was taken the foyer of the hotel by security. How he managed to sneak on stage in the first place is still a mystery, as is the reason behind his actions.

But however embarrassing the pie-bearer intended the attack to be on Joyce, it didn’t end up so.

In fact, after an initial shock, Joyce took off his glasses, maintained his composure and calmly told the audience, “I don’t know what that was about” before advising them that he’d need to clean up.

A few minutes later, the CEO re-emerged on stage and recommenced his speech to what has been described as a “warm applause” from the audience.

A cool and calm response is always the winning way 👏👏👏.

The incident has of course left everyone with one important question, was it lemon meringue or custard?

How would you have reacted if someone smashed a pie in your face?