financial chief Steve Bacon has stepped down following a planned exit process.

He remains as a “significant shareholder” in the group.

The company said Bacon has successfully built the finance department for a smooth transition over the past year. A successor has not been named.

Bacon said: “I feel the time is right to take all my experience turning around and growing businesses to seek new challenges and pursue other private equity investment opportunities.

“I am proud to be leaving in an excellent position for the next phase of its future development.”

Bacon’s departure follows Chris Gardner joining the business at UK managing director from consumer group Which? with Seamus Conlon continuing as chief executive.

Bacon joined the online cruise retailer as chief financial officer in 2013 when Risk Capital acquired the company for £14 million.

He was instrumental in the £52 million sale of the business to BDC in 2016 and the acquisition and integration of Germany based last year, delivering over 400% increase in turnover during his tenure.

Bacon moved in to travel by joining Gold Medal in 2006, where the business was transformed into profit, eventually securing the sale to Thomas Cook for £86 million in 2009.

Bacon led the integration of Gold Medal and Thomas Cook to create a £650 million scheduled business, eventually becoming managing director of Thomas Cook scheduled business.

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