The appointment of a woman from outside travel to lead Thomas Cook may surprise industry watchers.
But Harriet Green is seen as a great advocate of the internet and this is likely to accelerate Cook’s online strategy.
Green will move from her role leading electrical components distributor Premier Farnell on July 30.
[Watch Harriet Green talk about trading at Premier Farnell in this video on the firm’s website]
She received an OBE for services to industry two years ago, having taken over as chief executive of the FTSE 250 global parts supplier in 2006.
A sense of where she may influence Cook strategy comes from a Financial Times report in 2010 which describes her as a keen advocate of using the internet to transform business.
Green has driven a rise in e-commerce sales at her current company and also launched a Facebook-style networking site for engineers.
Green is a non executive director of US electronics company Emerson and BAE Systems.
She was a founder member of the Peaceworks mediation charity, and was nominated for the shortlist of 2009’s Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award.
She is known to have had a house in Thailand in addition to her UK home and is a devotee of hatha yoga, according to the FT.
Green graduated with a degree in medieval history from London University, and in 2007 was recognised by the Stevie Women in Business Awards as the Best Executive in Europe, Africa, and Middle East.
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.”
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