External events weren't to blame, says Thomas Cook's Green

External events weren't to blame, says Thomas Cook's Green

Exernal events in destinations cannot be blamed for Thomas Cook's previous troubles, Thomas Cook chief executive Harriet Green told a Travel Weekly Business Breakfast yesterday.

Asked about the impact of the events in Egypt this week, Green said: "I do think this issue of exogenous events is slightly overdone.

"Every industry has its challenges and I think the major competitor to Thomas Cook has done extremely well all through those exogenous events."

She said external events were not behind the problems the travel giant faced before she joined in July last year.

"It was more Thomas Cook than the world. Yes, last night at 11.30pm I knew every customer we had in every resort in Egypt... and what actions we would take. But in any industry you would have to take care of your customers and stuff does happen.

"It’s not because of the world's exogenous events that Thomas Cook was in a pickle."

Green said Cook's problems partly stemmed from failing to integrate its various businesses.

She told delegates: "There were 30 different locations, 30 different marketing directors with 30 different budgets – all of which had to be spent. So there was a lot of fragmentation in the UK.

"The second major area of costs was really around how siloed the business was, everyone doing their own thing, duplicating, not sharing the power of the Thomas Cook brand."

Green said although the company has come a long way, there is still work to be done. "We’re at the beginning of the transformation – now we have to deliver it. We have a clear plan. It’s early stages."

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