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AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury Resigns In Wake Of Grimshaw Comments

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has announced that Jayson Westbury has resigned from his position as chief executive officer (CEO), effective immediately.

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) has announced that Jayson Westbury has resigned from his position as chief executive officer (CEO), effective immediately.

Westbury’s resignation follows his recent comments in a travel agent webinar, regarding the Channel Nine show questioning the travel industry’s response to refunding customer’s trips during the pandemic.

In the webinar, Westbury said:

“I think that Tracy Grimshaw needs to be given a firm uppercut or a slap across the face, and I mean that virtually, of course, I wouldn’t want to invoke (sic) any violence on anyone.”

AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury said

The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Daily Mail and news.com.au all ran stories after the comments yesterday which subsequently went viral on social media.

Westbury had today earlier apologised publicly and to Grimshaw, stressing that his comments should not be taken literally.

“My comments relating to Ms Grimshaw involved a very poor choice of words. I apologise for that choice and accept the language used was completely inappropriate.”

Former AFTA CEO Jayson Westbury

AFTA then released a statement saying that Jayson Westbury was to resign effective immediately and that he “unreservedly apologises for a comment made towards Tracy Grimshaw the host of the Nine Network program A Current Affair”.

AFTA said Westbury has also acknowledged that the comments were inappropriate and unacceptable in any circumstances, as well as being at odds with the views of AFTA and its member companies and agencies.

“His choice of words cannot be condoned. His work history stands in good stead for the service he has provided the travel industry and AFTA’s members,” said AFTA chairman Tom Manwaring.

AFTA’s board say they have accepted Westbury’s resignation and appointed Courtney Duddleston as acting general manager of operations while the recruitment process begins for a replacement CEO.

Despite Westbury’s resignation, the ACA interview went ahead yesterday and aired last night. You can watch the segment and apology below.

Jayson Westbury

As CEO of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents Jayson Westbury was supposed to help them navigate the devastating effects of this Covid-19 pandemic.Instead he chose to shoot the messenger in a disturbing personal attack on our host – Tracy Grimshaw. Tonight he’s the ex-CEO after a day of high drama. Before the announcement, he spoke to Brady Halls. #9ACA

Posted by A Current Affair on Wednesday, May 13, 2020

www.afta.com.au