New chief’s vision for Thomas Cook
THE new boss of Pet e r b o r o u g h - b a s e d Thomas Cook has outlined her blueprint for breathing new life into the troubled holiday giant.
The appointment of 50-yearold yoga enthusiast Harriet Green as the new chief executive of the Bretton based firm was announced yesterday to investors.
The announcement comes in the wake of months of huge financial difficulties for the firm, which employs about 1,600 people in Peterborough.
Currently the chief executive of Leeds-based electrocomponentsdistributor Premier Farnell, Miss Green, who is also an adviser to the Government, said: “Thomas Cook is an iconic brand in the leisure travel industry.
“I am very excited to be joining the team at this time, to lead the business forward.
“Wewillrebuildshareholder value through innovation and a sustained focus on the needs of our customers, suppliers and employees.”
She will take over at Thomas Cook on July 30 when the current iterim chief executive Sam Weihagen, who stepped into the chief executive’s role in August and has guided the debt-laden group through one of the most difficult periods in its 175-year history, stands down.
Earlier this month Thomas Cook secured a £1.4 billion loan from its banks after reporting heavy losses.
Miss Green is a member of the Prime Minister’s Government Business Advisory Group and has been in charge at Premier Farnell since 2006.
She has a postgraduate LSE degree in business psychology and a BA in medieval history from King’s College London.
A spokeswoman for Premier Farnell said “Harriet has two grown up children and is a practitioner of yoga and known to get up at 4am each day. She enjoys running and is an avid reader and loves the theatre and all types of music.
“She has worked on all four continents and has a global perspective of the way business is done. She is an excellent strategist.
She said Miss Green is a big advocate of the internet and social media and has overseen a growth in internetdriven business from 12 per cent to 75 per cent.
She was awarded an OBE in 2010 for services to industry and was listed among the top 30 women in business by the Financial Times last year.
Thomas Cook chairman Frank Meysman said: “I am delighted to be able to announce the appointment of such an exceptional Group CEO.
“Harriet is an extremely successful executive with the right combination of international, business transformation and ecommerce experience that we need to take the Group forward, and build on our strong reputation and brand.
“I am confident that she will be an excellent leader for the Group management team as we continue our transformation. CHALLENGE: Chief executive Harriet Green
NEW BOARD POSITION: David Downie as group director of intermediated businesses at the BGL Group.