OBERURSEL: The German C&N Touristic Travel Group - which bought out
Thomas Cook last year - has appointed Rolf Dieter Grass as head of
The appointment comes a month before the Europe-wide rebranding of the
group as Thomas Cook AG.
Grass currently works as the investor relations head of a
Frankfurt-based technology group, mg technologies, and will join C&N at
its Oberursel HQ in October.
He will report to C&N chief executive Stefan Pichler and oversee a team
of ten PROs in Germany. Grass will co-ordinate various communications
strategies with regional PR teams across its core European markets.
Pichler's brief also includes IR.
C&N's outgoing head of communications, Gerd Leidinger, is leaving for
personal reasons, according to a company spokesman.
C&N paid pounds 550m for the 160-year-old Thomas Cook brand late last
The buy-out means that the combined group has overtaken Airtours to
become Europe's second largest tour operator after Preussag, with annual
sales of pounds 4.6bn.
At the time of the takeover, Pichler said his goal was to become
Europe's largest package holiday operator. 'I hate to be number two. Of
course we will outdo Preussag,' he said.
He claimed C&N would spend a year 'bedding down' its acquisitions, which
include France's Havas Voyages, before further expansion.