a break from the norm – Thomas Cook’s Harriet Green

By in management on 13 May 2014

Veuve Clicquot Business Woman awrd fro 2014 goes to Thomas Cook CEO, Harriet Green

In a time when political correctness and ticked boxes dominate business, its great to see credit going to someone who truly deserves it.

Harriet Green, the dynamic CEO of the now re-vitalised Thomas Cook holiday group has been recognised with a prestigious Veuve Clicquot Business Woman award.

Harriet became CEO in July 2012 – after having the courage to cold-call the Company’s chairman. Just 12 months later, she’d designed and launched a bold strategy that focussed on digital leadership, new product innovation and placing customers at the very heart of the business. In the last year, the business refinanced and unified its many brands under the new ‘Sunny Heart’ umbrella, with the Group’s 27,000 employees working as one global team across 80 countries to deliver the transformation. Today, the share price has risen around 950%. An incredible achievement.

“Madame Clicquot transformed her family business through belief, innovation, and a ‘can do’ attitude, which are as relevant today as they were then, and I’m honoured to accept the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award on behalf of everyone at Thomas Cook as we continue to transform our business, just like Madame Clicquot did, through innovation, belief and our ‘can do’ attitude,” said Harriet.

“Madame Clicquot was truly one of the first real businesswomen of our age. I’ve long admired her spirit, courage, and determination. She and the original Mr Thomas Cook were of the same generation and together they created two amazingly powerful brands, whose heritage and promise clearly live on today – over 170 years later.”

Since her appointment, Harriet has tackled the issue of diversity in senior positions at Thomas Cook and her Executive Committee now includes four women and six different nationalities. Overall, she kept a third of the original leadership team, promoted a third from within the business and brought in a third from outside to offer the skill and expertise she felt the strategy needed.

Harriet sees employee engagement of huge importance and as a passionate communicator, she actively encourages staff to feedback their ideas and innovations to improve and strengthen the business, as every part of the business is touched and transformed, creating one strong team across the Group, working together for the benefit all of the Group’s key stakeholders.

We need more people – and more women – like her. Well done Ms Green!