Pictured: Mark Bather

New bosses have been confirmed today for Tui UK and Ireland’s 600-strong travel agency chain and Thomson Cruises.

Former O2 UK and Ireland head of stores, Mark Bather, replaces previous UK retail boss Jill Carter as new retail director, as first reported by Travel Weekly in June.

Ex-chief executive of Thistle and every Hotels, Richard Sofer, is the new managing director of Thomson Cruises.

He has been recruited following former cruise line boss Helen Caron being elevated to the role of Tui UK and Ireland distribution and cruise director in July.

Sofer will be responsible for driving the performance of Thomson Cruises and deliver a modernisation plan, which will see three ships join the fleet in the next three years.

Bather has been charged with developing the future of the Tui UK and Ireland retail estate.

Both report to Caron, who said: “Richard and Mark are both great hires for our business, bringing with them a wealth of experience from senior roles at some of Britain’s leading businesses. 

“This external influence and experience will prove invaluable as we continue with our growth and modernisation plans for our business.”

She added: “Richard will lead the cruise team during the next stage of our modernisation strategy, with a focus on continually improving the customer experience delivering tailored and contemporary end-to-end experiences for our customers. 

“Mark will be focused on leading our incredible team of retail experts, to inspire them to deliver an outstanding service to our customers.  He will also develop the future of our retail estate and the evolution of our stores.

“I’m delighted that Richard and Mark have joined at such an exciting time for the business.”

Bather previously spent 26 years with Tesco, holding roles such as Northern Ireland retail director and UK and Ireland customer service director.

Sofer worked for GLH Hotels for five years across a number of senior roles including chief executive of Thistle & every Hotels.

He previously spent five years with Home Retail Group across a number of senior finance roles, including head of retail finance, accounting for 750 stores, and also worked for Whitbread.