New chief’s vi­sion for Thomas Cook

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - NEIGHBORHOOD NEWS - By PAUL GRIN­NELL paul.grin­nell@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ @Paulgrin­nell2

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.

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