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Virgin Holidays Top Exec Leaves for Sister Company Virgin Atlantic

Skift Take

There is no CEO at Virgin Holidays, perhaps because of its very close relationship with airline Virgin Atlantic, instead it is led by a Managing Director. The latest changes at the top illustrate just how intertwined the two companies are.

— Patrick Whyte

Virgin Holidays Managing Director Mark Anderson is leaving the tour operator to take up a new role at sister airline Virgin Atlantic.

Anderson’s replacement Joe Thompson is coming the other way and will begin his new job in July after a period of parental leave. In the meantime, the position will be occupied on an interim basis by David Geer, currently Product, Commercial and Business Development Director for Virgin Holidays.

Virgin Holidays does not have a CEO and is instead run on a daily basis by the Managing Director. This is likely because of its close relationship with airline Virgin Atlantic, where Craig Kreeger is the CEO.

Anderson, who will become Executive Vice President, Customer at Virgin Atlantic, has been in role since May 2014. During that time, he has presided over significant behind the scenes developments at the tour operator.

In October 2015, Virgin Holidays decided to stop distributing its products through third-party travel agents in a bid to try and own more of the customer journey.

Its most recent set of accounts also reveal a significant amount of behind-the-scenes restructuring. In 2015 Virgin Holidays Ltd booked restructuring costs of $14.1 million (£11.6 million) as part of a move to “co-locate more functions with the wider Group.” This pushed the company to a pre-tax loss of $1.9 million (£1.6 million).

Thompson has been at Virgin Atlantic for 14 years, most recently as Senior Vice President of Sales and Distribution.

Virgin Holidays was launched a year after Virgin Atlantic. Over the years it has expanded its portfolio from the United States and the Caribbean to include Asia, South Africa and the Middle East.

According to regulator the Civil Aviation Authority, Virgin Holidays is the 12th biggest tour operator in the UK and is licensed to carry 337,623 passengers in the year to the end of March 2017.

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