Shearings appoints former Thomas Cook boss as chief executive

Shearings Leisure Group has appointed Richard Calvert as chief executive.

Calvert was previously UK managing director of mainstream tour operations at Thomas Cook and also held senior leadership roles at First Choice and Tui.

He replaces Denis Wormwell who left the business at the end of 2016 after almost 10 years to pursue a non-executive career.

Calvert is currently president and chief executive of US-based global holiday group, Celebration Travel Group, previously private equity backed holiday group

He will join Shearings in spring 2017, with Gary Speakman, chief finance officer and deputy chief executive, continuing to lead the business on an interim basis until then.

Calvert said: “I’ve long admired Shearings as a true specialist operator with unrivalled expertise, an impressive heritage and outstanding customer loyalty.

“The current team has continued to build a strong business with an excellent and constantly-evolving product offering.

“I am looking forward to bringing my expertise to the group and working with such a highly capable team as we look to build on our performance in this exciting part of the travel and leisure market.”

Other new group roles from the final quarter of 2016 include Chris Hannon as commercial director for Coast and Country Hotels, previously the operations director at Kew Green Hotels, and Steve Seddon as the marketing director of Shearings Holidays, previously head of marketing, digital and sales at Scenic.

Grant Hearn, chairman of Shearings Leisure Group, said: “With an impressive international career at some of the biggest brands in travel and leisure, we’re delighted to be welcoming Richard to the group.

“His experience, including his knowledge of building customer focused and digital-led brands, makes him an ideal fit given our forward ambitions for continued growth and expansion.

“He joins at a time of growing momentum and opportunity across our businesses. He will be supported by an outstanding senior management team and a highly experienced board of directors.”

In 2016 the group, which is backed by Lone Star, announced its third successive year of growth in revenues, profits and passenger numbers on the back of strong demand for UK holidays.

The company confirmed trading had remained positive, thanks to a continued focus on diversifying its holiday offering with quality product and by broadening its customer base.

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