Thomas Cook Group has chosen a new group chief executive, ending the long search for a successor to Manny Fontenla-Novoa.
It has appointed Harriet Green, currently chief executive of Premier Farnell plc, a Leeds-based group supplying electronic products and maintenance and repair services.
She is also a non-executive director of BAE Systems plc and the Fortune 200 company, Emerson Electric Co.
Green, aged 50, was last year voted number 30 in the Financial Times' 'Women at the Top' list. She has spent her entire career in the electrical components industry and in 2010 received an OBE for services to industry.
According to an article about her in the Independent, Green starts each day with a 4am yoga session.
She will join Thomas Cook Group and the board on July 20, replacing Sam Weihagen.
Weihagen will step down from the Board on that date but will remain with Thomas Cook until September 30 "to ensure a seamless transition".
Thomas Cook chairman Frank Meysman said: "Harriet is an extremely successful executive with the right combination of international, business transformation and ecommerce experience that we need to take the Group forward, and build on our strong reputation and brand. I am confident that she will be an excellent leader for the Group management team as we continue our transformation.
"The Board is incredibly grateful to Sam Weihagen for stepping into the role in August last year and providing the Group with the benefit of his experience through a difficult period, putting the Group on a firmer footing. He retires with our very best wishes for the future."
Green said: "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."
In a statement, Thomas Cook said Green had overseen a period of significant strategic change at Premier Farnell, "driving industry leading returns and creating a cost-effective multi-channel operation where the majority of business is now transacted through ecommerce channels".
It said she has lived and worked internationally throughout her career and "believes in building strong, high performance teams and has sustained a focus on execution, operational excellence, employee engagement and innovation".
See the video below of an interview with Harriet Green in 2008 about international cultures, the online arena and more.
by Bev Fearis
Thursday, May 24, 2012