Top marketer walks out as Opodo scraps central team

Opodos top marketer Sally Balcombe has left the online travel company ahead of a restructure that is likely to see its entire central marketing team scrapped. It is understood that up to 90 roles could be at risk across the business.

Opodo’s top marketer Sally Balcombe has left the online travel company ahead of a restructure that is likely to see its entire central marketing team scrapped. It is understood that up to 90 roles could be at risk across the business.

Balcombe, Opodo’s commercial and product director, left by “mutual consent” earlier this month along with the company’s chief finance officer and HR director.

Sources say European director of sales and marketing Petra Friedmann, who reported to Balcombe, and European head of marketing Isabelle Ratinaud, who reports to Friedmann, are also likely to lose their jobs as Opodo adopts a decentralised structure.

There are six people in the European marketing team, based in the UK, but a total of 90 job cuts would represent almost half of Opodo’s workforce in the UK.

Until now, Opodo’s European marketing team has worked with local sales and marketing offices but it wants each market to assume complete control for product, operational and commercial activities. The company’s UK country manager Neil Mott also left the business earlier this month.

New directors will be responsible for each of the markets and will report to chief executive Ignacio Martos. Caroline Noble is the interim UK director.

An Opodo spokeswoman confirms Balcombe has left the business but will not comment on other individuals.

 She says that a consultation period is underway that will be concluded at the end of February.

Opodo was created in 2001 by nine European airlines, including British Airways, Air France and Lufthansa. Spanish travel technology company Amadeus bought a controlling stake in 2004 but speculation is mounting that the current restructure will pave the way for a sale that could value the business at more than £100m.

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