British Airways brands chief Hamish Taylor is poised to quit the airline to be managing director of troubled Channel Tunnel operator Eurostar.
The move would leave BA’s marketing department in further disarray, following the departure of marketing director Ford Ennals, who left abruptly in May after only ten months in the job.
Taylor is general manager for brands at the airline, working alongside Derek Dear who assumed the role of acting marketing director after Ennals’ departure although he is actually marketing services director.
BA is understood to be having trouble finding Ennals’ replacement. It is not known if Taylor applied for the job, but BA is believed to have increased the shortlist of candidates after failing to find a suitable applicant in preliminary interviews.
Taylor will join Eurostar, owned by London & Continental Railways, at one of the most difficult times in its troubled history.
The fire in the tunnel last week has halted scheduled services, though a few freight trains have run.
While the tunnel is out of use Eurotunnel is contracted to pay compensation to Eurostar, which operates the passenger-only service from London Waterloo to Paris and Brussels. The compensation could run into tens of millions of pounds. Ironically, Eurostar would have benefited from the blockade of the Channel ports this week by striking French lorry drivers.
Eurostar refused to confirm Taylor’s appointment and he could not be reached as Marketing Week went to press.