Monday 11 December 2017

Irish marketing guru is the only external appointment in major Ryanair reshuffle

Kenny Jacobs
Kenny Jacobs
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The chief marketing officer of UK price comparison website is the single external appointment to Ryanair as part of the biggest senior management shakeup in 16 years.

The airline said Cork native Kenny Jacobs (40) will join Ryanair from the UK firm at the end of this month.

Mr Jacobs will be chief marketing officer for the carrier and will be responsible for sales, marketing and communications.

Ryanair has also announced that Michael Hickey, its director of engineering, has been promoted to group head of operations.

David O'Brien, previously director of operations, has been appointed chief commercial officer. He's now responsible for route development, traffic management and other activities, including links with airports.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary said the new appointments -- part of a number of executive changes -- conclude the first significant senior management reorganisation since Ryanair joined the stockmarket in 1997.

Mr O'Brien and Mr Jacobs are the two replacements for Ryanair's deputy chief executive and chief operating officer Michael Cawley, who is resigning his executive roles in March. He'll remain as a non-executive director.

A graduate of University College, Cork, Mr Jacobs has previously worked as marketing director for Tesco's Irish arm and as brand communication director for Tesco UK. He was previously a consultant at Accenture and worked for Procter & Gamble and Germany's Metro group.

Ryanair has made a number of appointments as part of its push to reinvent itself. It has been introducing several changes, including lowering penalties that are imposed on passengers, and relaxing some booking rules. It's also made in-flight changes, such as introducing so-called 'quiet flights' early in the morning and late in the evening, as well as bringing in fully-allocated seating from next month.

Mr O'Leary said the new appointments will bring a "new and fresh impetus to Ryanair's marketing activities over the coming months" as it rolls out customer service improvements.

"The board and I have every confidence that this new senior management team will deliver Ryanair's exciting plans to grow from 80 million to over 110 million passengers per annum over the next five years," he said.

The airline has also promoted Peter Bellew, formerly its deputy director of flight operations, to its head of sales and marketing. Dara Brady, who was previously deputy head of web development, is promoted to head of web.

Ryanair also confirmed the appointment of Lesley Kane as its new head of groups and corporate sales. She was previously head of sales and marketing.

Adrian Dunne, previously deputy director of ground operations, is promoted to director of operations, while Derek Quinn becomes director of engineering, having previously been in the deputy role.

Carol Sharkey becomes director of safety and security, having previously been the deputy in the role.

Irish Independent

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