Tuesday 24 September 2019

The directors of Thomas Cook took the money and ran

From the Telegraph.

Collapsed Thomas Cook told customers everything was 'normal'

It was the moment dream holidays became nightmares. After Thomas Cook collapsed early today, Britain's largest ever peacetime repatriation of 150,000 stranded UK tourists has begun.

But it has emerged that the failed travel operator told customers the company was "operating as normal" just hours before it announced its fall into liquidation.

As Sam Barker reports, the firm was telling passengers all flights and holidays were running to plan. Three hours later at 3am, it announced it had stopped trading and left Twitter.

Many holidaymakers discovered their trips had been thrown into chaos via social media.”

Meanwhile the directors took the money and ran.

The Thomas Cook bosses who received £30million in bonuses as company collapses

As 150,000 Brits find themselves stranded abroad, calls are being made for senior figures - which ceased trading this morning - to pay their sky-high earnings back

23 September, 2019
These are the Thomas Cook bosses who raked in close to £30million in bonuses - including the ruthless executive who claims she is a cross between "a lion and a panda".
The company's three most recent chiefs - Manny Fontenla-Novoa, Harriet Green and Peter Fankhauser - have, alongside other senior officers, profited hugely from the failing travel firm since 2007.
And as 150,000 Brits find themselves stranded abroad, calls are being made for senior figures to pay their sky-high earnings back.
Around 9,000 workers have lost their jobs in the UK alone. Earlier today former employees were seen sobbing as they left Thomas Cook HQ in Peterborough.
While some carried boxes with their belongings out of the building, others were seen consoling one another.
Two visibly upset women hugged each other outside the building which cruelly displayed the words '175 years of Thomas Cook'.
Couples are facing the heartbreak of having to cancel their destination weddings and thousands of holidaymakers are in limbo.
The disaster has led to increased scrutiny on large sums paid to bosses in the build-up to the collapse.
Current boss Peter Fankhauser, who announced today that the firm could not be saved, has pocketed £8.3million since taking over in 2014.
This figure includes a £2.9million bonus four years ago.
Chairman Frank Meysman has also been paid £1.6million in this time, The Telegraph reports.
The newspaper reports that chief financial officers Micheal Healy and Bill Scott have earned around £7million between them since 2014.
Former chief executive Harriet Green, who was credited with saving the company when it was on the brink of collapse seven years ago, was awarded a share bonus worth £5.6million in 2015.
Green arrived at the company in 2012 and immediately slashed 2,500 jobs - cutting debts and completely restructuring the traditional 'Thomas Cook package'.
Shares surged by 14 times and she was named the Veuve Clicquot businesswoman of the year.
According to a Guardian report, Green's "robust" style (she described herself as a 'landa' - a cross between a lion and a panda) left its mark.
Green succeeded Fontenla-Novoa, who earned £17.2million between 2007 and 2011 - at a time when 2,800 jobs were slashed, The Times reports.
The company merged with MyTravel during his leadership.
Labour's shadow chancellor John McDonnell this morning told the BBC that executives should pay back bonuses following Thomas Cook's collapse.
Asked if executives should have to repay bonuses, said: "Too right."
He added: "I think they need to really examine their own consciences about how they’ve brought this about and how they themselves have exploited the situation."
All its 600 shops, in high streets across the country, will be closed today, as workers learned they no longer have jobs.
More than 1,000 people worked at the company's headquarters in Peterborough.
But union bosses have vowed not to give up fighting for jobs.
Officials are facing calls to clarify what happens next, amid fears many workers will not receive a pay cheque this month.
In a scathing statement, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said staff had been "stabbed in the back".
BALPA said it will be helping pilots find jobs with an alternative airline.
It said: "The hopes of all Thomas Cook employees that their airline could survive has been brutally quashed this morning as they wake up to find they have no job.
"While detailed plans to repatriate passengers have been carefully put together and Ministers have and will continue to claim the credit for that, the staff have been stabbed in the back without a second’s thought.
"Despite continuing to keep Thomas Cook going in recent weeks with dignity and integrity while their own futures were being secretly decided we don’t even know if staff will get a pay cheque this month.
"It is despicable. Thomas Cook pilots and all staff deserve better than this.
"For pilots, BALPA will be supporting our members through the legal complexities of what Thomas Cook liquidation means for them and doing everything we can to help them find alternative jobs in other airlines."

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