Mass exit from Western & Oriental

Mass exit from Western & Oriental

Several senior figures at Western & Oriental are to leave the business in a major management shake-up.

Managing director Kerry Golds has already left, while head of trade sales Steve O'Loughlin is to depart on December 14 after three years in his current role.

Raj Kumar, who bought the business in April 2011, will take on the combined role of managing director and chairman of the company.

David Pointer, who has been with the business for eight years, has been appointed group head of product and commercial and will oversee product development across all brands, reporting directly to the board.

O'Loughlin, who previously held sales positions with companies including Club Med and Holiday Autos, is planning to take a short break from the industry in early 2013 before exploring other opportunities.

In a statement to colleagues, he said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at W&O but after working in the industry for over 25 years I thought it might be time for a well earned break."

He added: "I must thank you for your support and would hope that will continue going forward as there is some fabulous product here with Western & Oriental, Rainbow Tours and Regent Holidays and some of the best sales people in the business.

"My plan is to take a few months off at the start of the year, take stock and then decide what I want to do next."

Head of marketing Sarah Mason is also believed to have left the business.

A statement from the company said: "The new structure gives the business a solid platform for growth and sees the two divisions headed by strong general managers reporting directly to Raj in his new role.

“The new organisation gives us a much more dynamic structure and one which can adapt to the market and drive forwards for continued growth."

The company said overall sales had grown 12% year on year and trade sales had grown 10% year on year.The operator said it plans to continue its focus on the trade.

O'Loughlin is currently recruiting a dedicated sales manager who will be the key point of contact for the trade, reporting to both general managers.

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