Thomas Cook names CEO

Thomas Cook has appointed a chief executive from outside the travel industry to lead its recovery strategy.

Thomas Cook

Harriet Green, currently the boss of electronic components distributor Premier Farnell, will take up the top job on 30 July.

The tour operator says that Green was hired because of her “extensive experience of driving business transformation and change programmes globally”. It adds that Green, who is also a non-executive director of BAE Systems, has “overseen a period of significant strategic change” since taking over as Premier Farnell CEO in 2006.

Thomas Cook has had a turbulent 12 months that has seen profit slump and emergency debt refinancing.

Her appointment ends the tour operator’s 10-month search for a permanent successor to Manny Fontenla-Novoa, who stood down in August last year after a string of profit warnings.

Sam Weihagen, who had been leading the business on an interim basis, is to leave on 30 September.

Green says of her appointment: “Thomas Cook is an iconic brand in the leisure travel industry. I am very excited to be joining the team at this time, to lead the business forward as we rebuild shareholder value through innovation and a sustained focus on the needs of our customers, suppliers and employees.”

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