Traveltek

Published on Friday, December 7, 2018

Thomas Cook shares slide again as UK boss quits


Thomas Cook has announced that Chris Mottershead will take back the leadership of the UK business following the departure of Ingo Burmester, who has decided to leave for 'personal reasons'.

The operator, which has seen its share price plunge after making a huge net loss this summer, said Burmester had decided to return home to Central Europe.He will be joining DER Touristik based in Germany, in May, allowing him to be closer to his family," it said.

Burmester joined Thomas Cook in early 2017, holding two key roles, most recently re-locating to the UK as chief of source market.

Shares in Thomas Cook, which had risen on news that chairman Frank Meysman had bought more than £80,000 worth on Wednesday, went on a rollercoaster after yesterday's announcement, initially dropping 13% but rising again after non-executive director Annet Aris bought more than 60,000 shares worth a total of £23,921.

The share price had risen back to 32.66p by the end of Thursday, but fell again in early morning trading to 31.3p.

Thomas Cook had earlier blamed the summer heatwave for the huge loss it suffered this summer, but analysts pointed out that the weather had not had such an adverse impact on its closest rival TUI.

In a statement announcing Burmester's departure, Thomas Cook said: "Chris brings detailed, experienced knowledge of the UK tour operator and is well placed to execute the Thomas Cook strategy: increasing the share of our own-brand hotels to UK customers as well as the transformation work that is currently underway.

In addition to the UK role, Mottershead will continue with his role as chief of product and operations. After a handover with Burmester, he will lead the UK management team with immediate effect.

Mottershead will work alongside Anth Mooney who continues to report to CEO Peter Fankhauser, who said: "I want to thank Ingo for his contribution to Thomas Cook. Given the critical importance of turning around the performance of the UK business I have decided to hand back the leadership of the UK source market to Chris Mottershead for the time being. I am confident that his experience in running a British holiday company, along with Anth's absolute focus on our retail and money business, will help to accelerate the UK's return to profitable growth."

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