While giving a speech at a business breakfast in Perth on Monday, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was abruptly stopped by a man who smashed his face in a pie.
Joyce was the keynote speaker at the West Business Leadership Matters event at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Perth, Australia. He was about three minutes into his speech when a man strode onstage, grabbed Joyce’s back, shoved a cream pie in his face — and walked off stage.
“I don’t know what that was about,” Joyce addressed the crowd while covered in cream. He then excused himself off the stage.
After cleaning himself up, Joyce returned to the stage (minus jacket) to continue talking about Qantas’s new direct flights to London. At the end of his speech, the audience gave Joyce a standing ovation.
“I’ve been CEO of Qantas now for close to nine years and it was a new experience,” Joyce said in an interview after the roller coaster speech. “I haven’t experienced that before.”
Some suspect that the pie was lemon meringue — although the flavor has yet to be confirmed.
The assailant’s motives also remain unclear. Security apprehended the 67-year-old man in the lobby after he walked off stage. He was detained for questioning and charged with giving false information to the police — although he was not charged for the pieing.