Airtours-owned Going Places has hired former Thomas Cook marketing boss
Tony Bennett as managing director.
The appointment will resurrect speculation that the company is to renew its interest in taking over the Thomas Cook retail business. Airtours is believed to have bid 40m for the Thomas Cook retail chain in January, although the company denies that it was ever approached about a deal.
Bennett was one of a series of top-level departures from Thomas Cook earlier this year. He left in March, followed by commercial director Peter Shanks who also joined Going Places and chief executive Christopher Rodrigues.
Bennett replaces Stephen Baynard, who becomes adviser to Airtours chairman David Crosland. Commercial director Kevin Welch will retain day-to-day responsibility for marketing.
“In the past 12 months, Going Places has focused on expanding its network of outlets,” says Bennett. “There will be 700 by the end of the year and the business is not necessarily going to grow a lot larger than that. The challenge is to differentiate the offering from the rivals.”
Thomas Cook has restructured since the departures of Bennett, Rodrigues and Shanks. Dido Harding was appointed as retail marketing director.