Cosmos Tours has appointed MSC Cruises’ Giles Hawke as chief executive.
He replaces Alan MacLean, who was managing director of Cosmos Tours until he stepped down in January after five years in the role.
Speculation about Hawke’s next career move had been mounting since he resigned as executive director from MSC last week, but Travel Weekly can reveal he will take up his new position on May 1.
He will sit at the helm of Cosmos Tours and Cruises, river cruise line Avalon Waterways and direct-sell operator Archers Holidays.
Hawke was recruited by Cosmos’s executive chairman, and former Monarch boss, Hugh Morgan, who came out of retirement to take up his position in November.
Hawke said he was excited about the “unlimited opportunities” afoot and that he wouldn’t rule out expanding the existing product offering in the future.
“Joining Cosmos is a great opportunity for me and I’m extremely excited about my new role,” he said.
“As a business, Cosmos Tours has a very clear focus with three very distinct brands, two of which are trade facing. There’s also Archers Holidays which is currently direct-sell only.”
Hawke said his initial challenge would be to “fully understand the breath of product and the opportunities”, but his overall aim is to grow the company’s market share.
“It’s important to me that we have an open dialogue with the trade,” he said. “I will be meeting with our key partners to see how we can work together to grow the business.”
Morgan said: “I am delighted that Giles is joining us to head up the team in Bromley as we look to significantly grow our market share in the touring and cruise business.
“Giles brings with him vital commercial cruise expertise and experience in the fastest growing sector of the travel industry and we all look forward to working with him.”
Hawke insisted he would remain focused on MSC Cruises as he hands over the reins to Antonio Paradiso. “I won’t take my eye of the ball with MSC Cruises until my time with the business is over,” he said.
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