Accoladia loses head of sales and marketing

Accoladia, the company formed by the merger of British Airways Holidays and Thomas Cook Holidays, is losing its head of sales and marketing Colin Whaley just three weeks after handing him the top marketing role.

Whaley was appointed top marketer for the joint venture in July (MW July 5), but he has since turned down the job, citing the move to the Peterborough head office as his reason. He returns to an undisclosed position at British Airways.

Whaley moved from British Airways, where he was leisure marketing manager for the UK and Ireland, to British Airways Holidays in 1998.

A spokeswoman for British Airways confirmed Whaley would be returning to the airline but would not say in what role, as discussions were still taking place.

Whaley will remain at Accoladia until October to oversee the inception of the new marketing structure. The company is also seeking a sales and marketing chief to replace him.

A review is underway to determine the best way to position both brands in the new company. Accoladia managing director Simon Laxton has said both brands will be kept, and will run alongside each other. The Accoladia name will be used for company trading purposes only.

The new structure is expected to be in place within the next two months and although the brands will be run separately it is possible the marketing departments will be merged.

The review was delayed earlier this year as the company awaited European Union approval for the merger.

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