Swingeing P&O job cuts put top marketing position in question

P&O Ferries’ plans for massive job cuts have put the position of the company’s chief marketer, John Govett, under threat.

Ferry and ports operator Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation has announced 1,200 redundancies and a reduction in the number of ferries it operates. As part of its restructure, the company has decided to merge two board positions – director for tourism services and director of on-board services – into one role. The posts are held by Govett and Patrick Hollis respectively.

Govett oversaw the consolidation of the P&O Ferries’ 2.5m European advertising and media business into Link ICA in August 2002 (MW August 2002). The appointment followed the merger of P&O’s three operating companies, P&O Stena Line, P&O North Sea Ferries and P&O Portsmouth.

P&O Ferries has been forced to cut jobs following widening financial losses – 25.1m in the first six months of 2004 – and increasing competition on cross-Channel business from low-cost airlines and the Channel tunnel. By contrast, P&O’s port-management business is in profit.

The sales and marketing team includes head of marketing Simon Johnson. The marketing team is expected to suffer some of the proposed job cuts.

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