He is the second key senior executive to leave the carrier within a matter of months
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 EasyJet.
Mr Jacobs confirmed to the Irish Independent this morning 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 told the Irish Independent.
Mr Jacobs (46) is understood to have been one of the candidates in the running for chief executive role at Ryanair DAC, which went to Eddie Wilson. Michael O’Leary is now Ryanair group chief executive.
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 also 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.
He said that Mr O’Leary did try to persuade him to stay.
“I want to do something new, that’s the big overarching thing for me,” said Mr Jacobs. “The next few years here would be doing the same job.”
He said he is not intending at this time to take another job in the airline industry.
“I’d like to do something that’s a good challenge,” he said. “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 the retail industry, but I’d look at something that’s going to float my boat in terms of the nature of the work.”
Shares in Ryanair were down 2.1pc in recent trading today.