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Thomas Cook’s new CEO speaks about future

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Green: “I think the business has real potential to be great again”

Just a few days after starting her new job as Thomas Cook’s new group chief executive, Harriet Green discussed the company’s quarterly results in a conference call together with outgoing chief executive Sam Weihagen and chief financial officer Michael Healy. Here’s a selection of her comments, courtesy of TTG Digital:
On what she’s been doing since the announcement of her appointment
“I’ve had many, many external meetings with a very wide range of stakeholders – really listening to their views about the group – and I’ve met most of the top team at Thomas Cook from around the world.”
“Of course I’ve researched the business deeply and will now start a very deep dive into all our operations [and meet] with employees, customers, suppliers and of course the wider business and financial community.”
On Thomas Cook’s future
“We now need to work with real vigour and focus to convert these huge opportunities. While we clearly have much to do in a relatively short period of time, I think the business has real potential to be great again.”
On a timeline for change
“I’ll give you my initial view, my first impressions on what I think the focus areas for the group will be, at our full year results. Then in spring next year I’ll talk in much more detail about our transformation plans for Thomas Cook.”
On why she took the job
“I think there are many, many similarities between the work that I’ve done in the past and the work that needs to be done here. Around how you develop multiple channels, drive the web, work across international markets, the opportunity to restructure and reorganise the business.
“But I think the reason for doing it is because of the opportunities that exist and they felt that I had some experience and some success in similar – not identical – markets. So I remain excited by that challenge.”
On managing decline or growth
“No I don’t see this as a managing decline issue. [There are] very interesting opportunities in terms of new products, new markets and of course the web.”
On restructuring plans
“It always depends on your reference point, but maybe it’s because I come from a technology and industrial background: I would not consider the amount of restructuring to be heavy to date.”
TTG Digital

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