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Published on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

End of a double act as Andy Freeth leaves If Only

If Only CEO Andy Freeth is to leave the company at the end of this month after two years at the luxury tour operator.

Product and distribution director Gordon McCreadie will take charge, having been promoted to general manager.

The business will continue to report into the executive board of its owner, The Portman Travel Group.

McCreadie will report to Lisa Fitzell, managing director at sister company Elegant Resorts.

Portman bought If Only from its founders Brendan and Mary Maguire last November.

Portman CEO Redmond Walsh said: "Andy and I go back a long way and he leaves us with my best wishes.

"He has left in place a solid and very capable team with a clear plan.

"I have known Gordon and his senior team of Tracy Docherty and David Irving for many years and look forward to working with them more closely.

"Despite the current short-term challenges facing the luxury travel sector, we are all optimistic about seeing demand come back over the next 18 months."

Freeth said: "It's been a great couple of years and I'm proud of what the team have achieved. We moved offices, grew turnover significantly, increased the product range, and professionalised all aspects of the business.

"I know that Gordon will do an excellent job leading If Only and I look forward to seeing the team take the business through its next phase of growth.

"Covid-19 has had a material impact on the business but with supportive, well-financed owners, loyal customers, and a great team I am confident they have a very bright future ahead. I feel sad to leave but this has been the plan since November last year and I'm excited about what my next project may be."

Commenting on his own plans Freeth said: "After a short break, and hopefully a summer holiday, I hope to remain in the travel industry and I'm keen to explore other sectors. Although our industry is having a difficult period, I am optimistic about the sectors medium- and long-term future."

McCreadie said: "I've worked alongside Andy for over 10 years and they have undoubtably been the best of my career so far.

"Andy leaves the business with my best wishes for the future, although it does mean we are breaking up our double act."

Kuoni UK boss Derek Jones said in a Tweet: "I'm really going to miss my sparing partner." He described him and Freeth as 'the fiercest of competitors at the best of friends' throughout his time at If Only.

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