Thomson takes on independents

Thomson, Britain’s biggest holiday company, is taking on independent tour operators in the skiing, mountain, and citybreak sectors by setting up a new venture, Thomson Breakaway.

The company will be headed by Thomson commercial director Steve Garley, who already has direct management responsibility for Thomson brands operating in these sectors. Lee Ormesher becomes sales and marketing manager of Thomson Breakaway.

Thomson estimates its current modest sales volumes across the three niche sectors at between 150,000 and 200,000 holidays.

A company spokesman says: “Thomson Breakaway will operate as a standalone company with its own profit and loss account, totally separate from the operating structure of the core business.

“It should have the flexibility to build these businesses more quickly and be more aggressive than if it was included in the core Thomson business. All of these businesses are relatively small – we want them to be much bigger.”

The restructuring means Shaun Powell, marketing director at Thomson, will now become marketing and commercial director. He will report to managing director Richard Bowden-Doyle.

Powell will also take over marketing responsibility for Thomson’s cruise line business and direct sales operation, Portland Direct. These units have previously reported to Garley.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here