'Sad to be leaving but excited about challenge ahead', says Hawke

'Sad to be leaving but excited about challenge ahead', says Hawke

Carnival UK sales and customer services director Giles Hawke is to leave the company in November after a decade to join another cruise line.

In an email to trade partners on Monday, Carnival UK chief commercial officer Gerard Tempest said: "We will be sorry to see Giles leave us, and wish him well for the future.

"Giles’ achievements within Carnival UK have been many, most notably the successful introduction of industry-leading changes to our trade partner relationships."

Hawke released a statement this morning which said: "I am sad to be leaving such a great company where I have enjoyed a very fulfilling ten years in a period of significant growth and change. I have worked with some incredible and inspirational people and learned a huge amount.

"The arrival of Gerard Tempest and the new boost he has added to the business has been really exciting over the last five months and I know he will lead the commercial area of Carnival UK well. My departure also gives others the chance to develop their careers further within the business.

"While sad to be leaving, I am hugely excited about the next chapter in my career, with new challenges and opportunities. Thanks to all those colleagues, agents and business partners who have supported me over the last ten years and I'm sure I can count on continued support in my new role in the future.

"I wish everyone at Carnival UK the best for continued future success. I cannot talk about where I am going at this stage but, suffice to say, it is a great opportunity which I will be looking forward to starting on towards the end of the year."

A well-known figure in the trade, Hawke was instrumental in the decision to reduce agent commission to 5% in 2011, sparking cuts at rival cruise lines.

He was also behind the decision to ask agents' clients to pay the group's cruise lines directly, in order to remove the financial risk from Carnival's trade business. This followed the collapse of Gill's Cruise Centre in 2011, leaving cruise lines an estimated £18 million out of pocket.

Hawke played an important role in the formation of Complete Cruise Solution, the trade arm for P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises.

Following Hawke's departure, Chris Truscott, head of sales, Tony Roberts, head of distribution support, Julie Warne, head of customer contact centre, and Nick Burrows, head of customer services, will report into Tempest.

Hawke had been with Carnival UK since 2002, starting out as head of sales and progressing to sales and customer services director.

Before that, he held positions at Highlife Breaks and Crystal Holidays, part of Tui UK. He has also been on the board of the Institute of Travel and Tourism.

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