Directline Holidays strengthens Board with appointment of Non-Executive Directors
- Category: Appointments
- Created on Friday, 24 August 2012 13:45
Drew Thomson was previously Executive Chairman of iris Worldwide where he led the development and international growth of the iris group business. Drew is a proven business leader and entrepreneur with a track record in funding, creating, building and growing international businesses. He was responsible for growing the business from £39m Income to £75m Income and establishing iris in fifteen key markets globally.
Prior to joining iris, Drew was a founding partner of Paternoster, the UK’s first defined benefit pension scheme risk transfer company. While at the company, Drew oversaw the company raising £500m of equity capital, allowing it to take on in excess of £5bn of pension liabilities, and achieved FSA approval in June 2006. Drew exited the business in November 2006. The business was subsequently sold to Goldman Sachs in January 2011.
Before setting up Paternoster, Drew was Chief Executive of Airmiles & BA Miles. Whilst at the company, Drew transformed the business from a loss making BA subsidiary to a significant profitable stand-alone business making in excess of £35m.
Having started her career in travel with 10 years at British Airways in a variety of roles, Sally Balcombe had a period at TUI managing their portfolio of specialist sun businesses.
Sally has moved with the leading edge of the industry to undertake marketing and general management roles in the online and new technology arenas.
She was Product and Commercial Director of Opodo, a major pan-European online travel agency and most recently CMO at Travelport, a global distribution company handling 1.8 billion multi–channel transactions daily. She was responsible for strategy, product and pricing in addition to marketing, overseeing the future development portfolio and owning the key partnership relationships with the search engines, social media and meta-search. She was also a NED of eNett, a global online payment solutions business, based out of Australia.
Sally is currently advising a number of sectors, ranging from insurance and travel to education, on their multi-channel and digital strategies.
Commenting on the appointments Maria Whiteman, CEO of Directline Holidays said: "We are very pleased to welcome Drew and Sally to the Board. Their wealth of experience across a broad spectrum of travel, online and marketing industries will be of significant value to the Company. I am looking forward to having lively debates about the future growth opportunites for the business and having a more diverse range of experience and expertise around the board table"