16:07 EST, 2 August 2012
02:41 EST, 3 August 2012
Harriet Green, the woman recruited to knock struggling Thomas Cook into shape predicted big changes as she set out the tour operator’s road to recovery.
The group reported an operating loss of £26.5million, compared to a £20.1million loss at the same stage of last year, but said bookings had picked up in recent weeks.
Green, previously boss of electronics firm Premier Farnell, wasted no time in promising an overhaul to spruce up Britain’s oldest tour operator.
Overhaul: Thomas Cook chief executive Harriet Green
‘I’ve never been a minor tweaks sort of person,’ she told the Mail. ‘For that you’d hire someone else.’
The action plan she is due to set out next Spring will include an emphasis on improved technology and emerging markets.
‘You’ve got to start in an organisation like this with the world in
which we live,’ she said.
‘The world is a much larger place than the places we operate in now. In
my experience technology is at the heart of many things.’
Green took Premier Farnell from
having zero presence on the internet to making 60 per cent of its sales
online, a feat believed to have been key in sealing her appointment.
She said her lack of experience in
tourism need not be a handicap, given her experience in building an
online business that exports successfully.
‘Whether it’s technology, industrials
or travel, the quality of your product and the quality of your content
is hugely important,’ she said.
Despite a recent uptick in bookings,
Green does not expect a ‘robust and magnificent return to consumer
confidence’ in the next quarter.
Green’s overhaul of Thomas Cook,
which needed a £1.4billion rescue deal with banks to survive, is also
likely to see the firm offer more specialist holidays, which have proved
successful for Thomson owner Tui.
Shares closed steady at 16.75p.