New Thomas Cook chief executive Harriet Green is likely to accelerate the company’s online strategy, according to industry observers.
Green, who will move from her role leading electrical components distributor Premier Farnell on July 30, is seen as a great advocate of the internet.
She has driven a rise in e-commerce sales at her current company and also launched a Facebook-style networking site for engineers.
Steve Endacott, On Holiday Group chief executive, said: “I have never met her but it must be a good thing that she has a technology background in a marketplace that’s becoming more and more tech savvy.
“Too many people make out that it’s a pre-requisite that you have to have travel experience – what a load of rubbish. As an industry we have a tendency to blow smoke up our own backsides.”
“What’s more important is that you give leadership and understand the technical requirements to take your business forward.”
Ian Brooks, managing director of Pure Genie digital recruitment, said: “It’s great news that they’ve found someone as it’s never good to run without a leader for too long.
“It’s great that she’s female and she’s got a strong background in technology, as online is increasingly important for every travel business.
Thomas Cook chairman Frank Meysman described Green’s appointment as marking the start of a new era for Cook.
He described her as an “exceptional and extremely capable individual” who can drive change in the business and move the group forward. She is well known in the investment community and has been successful in leading change.
He described Green as a strategist with a passion for technology.
“I am absolutely confident that Harriet will connect with our customers and engage with our people to set and deliver an ambitious change agenda and restore Thomas Cook to a position of strength.”