The rise and fall of Paul Brett

The rise and fall of Paul Brett

1978: joined Thomson Holidays from Unilever to set up Portland Holidays.

1984: became managingdirector of Lunn Poly.

1985: promoted to managing director of Thomson Holidays.

1988: made managing director of Thomson Travel Group.

1989: promoted to position of chief executive at Thomson Travel Group.

May 1998: Thomson floated on the London Stock Exchange. The market leader’s pre-floatprospectus revealed that Brett was already one of the highest paid in the industry, with a total package of £748,000 a year. Aone-off bonus for the float took his 1998 pay to £4.043m.

December 1998: shares which floated at 170p in May finished the year at 165p.

May 1999: in response to Airtours’ £852m bid for First Choice, Brett said he would flood the market with cheap holidays to remain number one in the market. This drew criticism from both the City and shareholders. Thomson’s share price slipped 24p to 130.5p on the day and there were calls for Brett to resign.

July 1999: Thomson issues profits warning, and Brett resigns.


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