Thomas Cook announces UK management shake-up

Thomas Cook announces UK management shake-up

Thomas Cook has announced a restructure of its UK management team which sees Reto Wilhelm, who was appointed as UK managing director in November last year, return to Switzerland to resume control of the group’s East/West region.

The travel giant has also announced the appointment of a new UK managing director of commercialisation to support chief operating officer Peter Fankhauser (pictured right) who will continue to be closely involved in the UK

A spokesperson for the company said that Wilhelm had done a great job in the UK, with “no negatives at all”, but that he was returning to Switzerland for “family reasons”.

Fankhauser, who remains chief operating officer of the whole group, will now resume overall responsibility for the UK, supported by Salman Syed (pictured left), who has been appointed as UK managing director of commercialisation.

Syed joined Thomas Cook in December from the electronics industry which group chief executive Harriet Green used to work in before joining Thomas Cook.

The group’s corporate website describes Syed as “an accomplished business and transformation leader who is accustomed to fast paced, global environments, having worked for a number of major international companies across Europe, North America and Asia including Arrow Electronics and Premier Farnell”.

“He’s been working in Europe, building up his knowledge and expertise but now he’s moved to Peterborough to work in the UK business,” said a spokeswoman.

“Over the past months we have continuously strengthened the UK management team  with great talents from all across the group. Salman has built up his knowledge and expertise  in Continental Europe and now he’s moved to Peterborough to work in the UK business.”

Green has often been reported as saying: “If we can get the UK right, then everything else will follow.”

A statement released to Travel Weekly said: “Two weeks ago we revealed the next stage of the transformation of Thomas Cook with the implementation of Wave 2 that is designed to further professionalise the company.

“Successfully transforming our UK business is critical for the overall success of Thomas Cook and therefore we are constantly looking for the best people in all our markets to support the transformation in the UK.

“In the last 18 months colleagues of different nationalities have joined Peter Fankhauser’s team to drive and transform the business.

“As COO of Thomas Cook Peter Fankhauser has always had a strong focus on the UK business and now he will be supported by Salman Syed who has taken on the role of MD of Commercialisation for the UK.

“Reto Wilhelm, who for personal reasons has relocated back to Switzerland, has resumed responsibility for the East/West business.”

Cook has also announced that Stefanie Berk has joined its UK product team from its German operation. Berk will lead the operator’s winter sun, long-haul and Flexibletrips ranges

Sourced from Travel Weekly

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