Thomas Cook restructures to combine digital and marketing teams to better target holidaymakers

Thomas Cook has combined its digital and marketing teams

UK travel firm Thomas Cook has rejigged the structure of its business, combining its marketing and digital functions and announcing a host of promotions and appointments.

The brand says the merging of its marketing and digital teams will allow it to further develop its use of digital and social media to market its holidays and better target potential and existing customers throughout the year.

It also hopes the move will help bring it closer in line with changing booking habits. The brand noted in a statement that more consumers are interacting with the Thomas Cook site directly – noting that in some markets three quarters of all holiday bookings are now made online.

To lead the new function, the company's former chief digital officer, Gilles Despas, has been promoted to chief marketing and digital officer. Despas joined the business in February 2016 has over 15 years of online travel experience. Meanwhile, current chief marketing officer, Remo Masala, has chosen to take up a new role as group creative director in order to focus on Thomas Cook’s brands, working closely with the hotels and resorts arm to further develop its proposition to customers.

Jamie Queen, currently UK e-commerce and marketing director, will take on a wider remit as group and UK marketing director, reporting to Gilles and UK managing director Chris Mottershead.

Finally, Thomas Hohn has been appointed chief of source markets, reporting to chief executive Peter Fankhauser who previously held the role on a temporary basis. The position sits alongside Thomas’ current remit as managing director of the western region (Belgium, France and the Netherlands), and Russia. Hohn will be responsible for aligning the source markets of the UK, continental Europe, northern Europe and the western region and Russia with the digital and marketing, hotels and resorts, and commercial products functions.

"The combined digital and marketing function recognises the way our customers research and dream about their holidays across the year and will put us in a better position to offer the best of Thomas Cook," said Fankhauser.

"Gilles’ experience in online travel and his contribution to the business since he arrived means he is well-placed to lead this important work. Remo’s new role gives him the freedom to continue to be the creative mastermind that developed Casa Cook, which repackaged the Thomas Cook brand and opened it up to a whole new customer.

“These changes will allow us to focus even more on putting the customer at the heart of everything we do, helping us to deliver the exceptional holidays that you can only get from Thomas Cook," he finished.

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Rebecca Stewart

Rebecca Stewart is a reporter at The Drum. She primarily writes news, analysis and features around brand marketing and digital innovation. She has interviewed key figures from the likes of Airbnb, Amnesty International, Unilever, Facebook and Spotify, as well as covering international events like Ad Week Europe, Dmexco and Ciclope.

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