Tour operator Airtours has replaced its group director of
communications after she served less than six weeks in the job.
Siobhan Turner joined in April from the post of investor relations
director at Greenall’s Group - since renamed as the De Vere Group. She
was hired when Airtours’ senior management decided to focus on IR.
Turner has since left the company, following a change-of-heart about the
need for a specialist IR expert by chairman David Crossland and group
managing director Tim Byrne.
She is succeeded by Anita McErlean, director of corporate communications
at the Airtours Holidays division -which accounts for more than half the
McErlean now oversees investor relations plus events, media relations,
public affairs and internal communications. She will also continue as
official company spokesman for consumer programmes such as the BBC’s
Watchdog, a role she has played since joining as sales director in
Industry speculation has focused on the launch last month of Airtours’
e-commerce strategy where Crossland and Byrne dressed up in leather
jackets and polo shirts to stress their aptitude for the digital
economy. The launch received a cool reception from analysts and
journalists and the clothing choice was deemed by some industry sources
to be inappropriate for senior businessmen. McErlean denied Turner had
been made a scapegoat, and praised her contribution to the company.
Airtours is the world’s largest air-inclusive tour operator, with a
market value of almost pounds 2 billion and more than 23,000 employees.