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Jacobs confirms his Ryanair departure

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Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer since 2014

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer since 2014

Kenny Jacobs, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer since 2014

RYANAIR'S chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, is to leave the airline in May.

He'll be the second key senior executive to leave the carrier within a matter of months.

Chief operations officer Peter Bellew left in December following an acrimonious High Court battle that saw Ryanair fail in efforts to enforce a one-year non-compete clause. Mr Bellew left to join rival airline EasyJet.

Mr Jacobs confirmed to the Irish Independent that he will make his exit after more than six years with the carrier.

He joined Ryanair in January 2014 from Moneysupermarket.com, where he was also chief marketing officer.

"I'm leaving on very good terms and I just want to do something new," he said.

Mr Jacobs (46) is understood to have been one of the candidates in the running for chief executive at Ryanair DAC - a role which went to Eddie Wilson. Michael O'Leary is now Ryanair group CEO.

Mr Jacobs said he has two young children and will take the summer off before considering his options.

During his time at Ryanair, the carrier transformed its approach to dealing with passengers, grew substantially and recognised trade unions.

"There's been challenges to deal with as well as good points in the cycle," he said.

"Part of life in any kind of role is dealing with those challenges and I think we've learnt from them," Mr Jacobs said. "Since I started, the business has doubled in size in traffic and profitability. That's not all down to me, but I think we've made some very positive changes in the way we sell things, particularly what we've done on digital and on ancillary has boosted a lot of the underlying growth that we have in the airline, increasing demand and load factor."

"It's a very different airline now than it was six years ago," added Mr Jacobs.

Mr O'Leary said Mr Jacobs had been the author of Ryanair's 'Always Getting Better' campaign. Mr Jacobs said he is not intending at this time to take another job in the airline industry.

"Something heavily digital in a kind of consumer-orientated business would be what I would be looking for. I like the travel industry. I like retail."

Irish Independent