Midcounties Co-operative Travel has appointed former Affinion International Travel director Mark Mitchell as its new commercial chief to replace Julie Kendrick who steps down at the end of August.

Mitchell, who worked for Affinion for 10 years and Tui prior to that, started his new role as head of product and commercial at Midcounties today.

Kendrick has decided to leave her position as head of commercial and marketing after eight years in the role and 21 years with Co-operative Travel Trading Group, to pursue personal interests.

Mitchell will be based at Midcounties’ regional head office in Walsall and report into chief operating officer, Rad Sofronijevic.

He will  head up the commercial and product function for the travel division, which includes its high street shop network, Co-operative Travel, Co-op Travel Consortium, The Personal Travel Agents at Co-operative Traveland lead the growth of the Co-op Holidays programme.

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Sofronijevic said: “I am delighted to welcome Mark to Midcounties Co-operative.  He’s a familiar, friendly face in the industry and brings with him a wealth of experience and commercial acumen that will drive our business forward.”

Mitchell said: “I’ll be defining and driving the product and commercial strategy for Midcounties Co-operative’s travel division and look forward to re-connecting with supplier contacts old and new to mutually grow our businesses.”

Kendrick said: “I am very sad to be bidding farewell to Midcounties Co-operative but the time feels right for me to take a step back for a period to focus on my personal pursuits.

“I am extremely proud of the team I have built and of everything we have achieved together since I took the role with Midcounties Co-operative in 2012.

“Having joined United Co-op aged 21, I’ve enjoyed an incredible 30-year career in the travel industry and would like to thank Alistair Rowland for his unwavering support in that time.”

Alistair Rowland, chief retail officer for specialist business at Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Julie is one of the best commercial leaders in the business and I have had the pleasure to work alongside her for almost 20 years.

“Most recently, Julie was pivotal in creating the commercial environment to allow Co-op Travel to be re-built in the Midcounties Co-operative way, a business that now transacts over £400m. She remains hugely respected in the marketplace and we wish her well with whatever she chooses to do next.”

Midcounties Co-operative is currently recruiting for a marketing manager and a commercial manager.

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