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Virgin won't replace chief brand officer role following leadership and loyalty revamp

Virgin drops global chief brand officer role in leadership and loyalty revamp

Virgin Group’s chief brand officer Lisa Thomas is to step down from her role a the end of the month in a leadership restructuring that will see the position retired.

Virgin Red chief exec Andrew Swaffield will step up as chief commercial officer for the Virgin group, in addition to his role with the rewards programme, to bring it closer to the main brand.

What’s happening over at Virgin?

  • Virgin is hugging its Virgin Rewards programme closer to its master brand by tasking Andrew Swaffield as group chief commercial officer in addition to his Virgin Red role.

  • A wider restructuring has already seen Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club rebranded as Virgin Points, ensuring cross-compatibility of rewards across all Virgin companies.

  • The integration will create a single reward currency to connect Virgin’s companies – which include Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Galactic and Virgin Balloon Flights – ensuring consumers have greater choice in accessing experiences.

  • Thomas has been involved in developing Virgin’s brand strategy since 2016 and is credited with pushing gender diversity within the organisation.

Anything else?

  • Virgin’s chief communications officer Nick Fox is also heading for the exit after a long tenure with the business, Communications director Tamara Bennett is set to serve in an interim capacity following a short transition period.

  • Other changes include the arrival of Holly Branson, the daughter of founder Richard Branson, as chief purpose and vision officer.

  • The personnel and organisational changes come amid a turbulent period for some Virgin travel brands, such as Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays which have struggled to adapt to the ongoing fallout from the pandemic.

  • Among the hardest hit is Virgin Atlantic, which recently finalised a rescue deal with creditors to the tune of £1.2bn.

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