Thomas Cook appoints ex-Sainsbury's CEO Justin King to oversee crisis comms review

Thomas Cook has hired former Sainsbury's CEO Justin King CBE to oversee an independent review of customer safety, relations and crisis management.

King will begin work on the independent review immediately and it is expected to conclude in September. Once completed Thomas Cook will publish the findings and recommendations in full.

The appointment comes in the aftermath of the Corfu holiday tragedy where the travel firm was widely condemned for its PR strategy over the nine-year period.

Thomas Cook Group CEO Peter Fankhauser said that he promised the parents of Christi and Bobby Shepherd, the children who died on holiday, that the firm would review its health and safety standards, as well as how it communicates with customers during times of crisis.

He said: "I hope that this independent review led by Justin King will play a significant part in supporting the change programme I am committed to implementing across the Thomas Cook business to put the customer at the heart of everything we do."

King served as CEO of Sainsbury’s for 10 years before stepping down in July 2014. He was chosen by Thomas Cook because he helped transformed the performance of the supermarket chain and developed a reputation for having a strong commitment to customer service.

In 2014, King also won PRWeek Communication Leader Award.


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