MyTravel hires Olivant to fill comms vacancy

Troubled holiday group MyTravel has filled its vacant communications director position seven months after resurrecting a role it did away with just a year earlier.

The post has been taken by director of corporate communications at airports group BAA Steven Olivant.

He joins MyTravel, formerly known as Airtours, at a difficult time for the company. The firm announced in February it was to cut 700 jobs as a result of the continuing slump in the air travel sector. It had already made 3,000 staff redundant in the 18 months since September 11.

It then suffered a share price collapse following a restatement of earlier profit figures, for which chief executive Tim Byrne was forced out.

MyTravel then appointed Brunswick to handle its corporate and financial PR, a relationship believed to be unaffected by Olivant's move.

Olivant joins the firm in June and will report to Byrne's successor as CEO Peter McHugh. He takes charge of a corporate affairs staff of just six, comprising a five-strong UK press office and a regional PR head for northern Europe, which is based in Sweden.

UK head of PR Helen Wailes, who will report to Olivant, said: 'Steven will want to look at the whole structure going forward.'

The revival of the comms director role at MyTravel came almost exactly a year after former incumbent Anita McErlean was made redundant.

At BAA, Olivant's departure caps a string of in-house changes since the arrival of former Independent editor Ian Hargreaves as director of corporate and PA in January (PRWeek, 8 August 2002).

The company - which owns Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports - has axed the role of south-east airports comms director following the resignation of incumbent Jenny Bradley. In the new set-up, there will be a comms director for each airport, all of whom will report to Olivant's successor.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.