Senior Thomas Cook Group executive Reto Wilhelm has been poached to head Kuoni Global Travel Services.

He joins the Swiss travel business as chief executive on March 1, 2017, having worked for Cook in London and Frankfurt since 2013.

He has been general manager of Cook’s joint venture activities in China since 2015 and was UK managing director from November 2013 to May 2014.

Under his leadership, GTS’s ongoing re-orientation as an independent company and the expansion of its activities in attractive market segments will continue, Kuoni said.

Walter Gehl, chairman of the GTS advisory board, will continue to manage GTS on an interim basis until March 2017.

GTS has run its business activities independently since the Kuoni Group was taken over by private equity company EQT in May.

Gehl said: “Reto Wilhelm, who is taking over operational management of the business, is very experienced in the global tourism industry and has wide knowledge of GTS’s business activities, particularly in Asian source markets.

“I’m pleased that we’ve been able to bring in a personality like Reto Wilhelm – someone who knows the complexities of the business done by group travel, MICE and our destination management specialists, as well as being very familiar with Kuoni’s international culture.”