Thomas Cook shakes up management team

Thomas Cook retail marketing director Dido Harding will take over as director of Thomas Cook’s interactive operations in February.

Harding will remain in command of marketing at Thomas Cook UK Retail, which operates about 386 outlets in the UK, until a successor is found. Simon Vincent remains in charge of Thomas Cook’s direct-selling businesses.

According to Harding, high street retailing is likely to remain the main distribution route for the company in the short term.

But Thomas Cook’s experiments with kiosks, Websites and interactive TV trials has convinced it to adopt an aggressive stance towards developing digital sales platforms, says Harding.

“This is going to be the future,” she adds. “There are already three Internet-based travel agency groups in the US, which are $150m businesses. And interactive TV is a huge opportunity to market travel services.”

Thomas Cook has also promoted Andrew Windsor to director of its UK retail division, which put him in charge of the group’s main high street operation.

Windsor, currently operations director for the business, takes up his new role on December 27.

The promotion will allow Mark McCafferty, managing director of the group’s worldwide travel-related business, more time to concentrate on developing non-UK business.

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