Paul Hawkes has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer of the Education Division of the Activity Sector of TUI Travel PLC, reporting to Ian Finlay, Managing Director of the Education Division.
With direct responsibility for the financial performance of the business and evaluation of business opportunities, Paul Hawkes was previously the Student Divisional Finance Director. The Chief Operating Officer role has been created in recognition of the importance of consolidating the Education Division businesses and identifying and delivering upon opportunities to continue to deliver organic growth. The focus on the strategic direction of each group of businesses will continue, as well as the ongoing strategy with the Managing Directors of UK Schools, European Individuals, Language Travel and North American Student.
In addition, IT and E-commerce Directors will report to Paul Hawkes, demonstrating the Division’s recognition that these areas are important across all markets and that it is dedicated to delivering a user-friendly customer service proposition. To support Paul Hawkes in his new role, two further appointments have been made; Andrew Bullen will become Divisional Financial Director and Craig Weller will become Divisional Financial Controller. Andrew Bullen and Craig Weller bring a wealth of experience to the table, gained from previous roles within the Group and other global corporations. Between the two of them, they will assist with specific project management and implementation and ensure systems and processes are established to cope with the ever growing demands of the portfolio.
Reporting directly to Paul Hawkes, Andrew Bullen will hold overall finance functional responsibility for the cluster of companies and forge a closer link with the Finance departments of each of the businesses. He will focus on the application of ‘best practise’, compliance and the optimisation of systems and processes, whilst maintaining a mid and long term vision for the overall Finance function.
Craig Weller will pick up the baton on business performance improvement across the Education Division, including challenging business performance based on key performance indicators and trading cash management and analysis. Reporting to Andrew Bullen, he will also consolidate and review divisional results, ensuring consistency across the portfolio.
Paul Hawkes says of his appointment, “The Education Division has an incredible portfolio of businesses with substantial opportunities for growth. The plan now is to maximise portfolio positioning, drive brand awareness and ultimately attract new consumers by capitalising on the trend for more learning outside the classroom”.
Ian Finlay, Managing Director of the Education Division, added, “As the Education Division evolves it is imperative that our leadership reflects this. We are thrilled that Paul has stepped up to accept this newly created position. He will undoubtedly continue to add tremendous value to our business and we feel confident that Andrew and Craig will build on and drive change, delivering outstanding results for the Group”.
Driven by a combination of acquisitions and organic contributions, the cumulative annual growth rate of profit across the Education Division is in excess of 70% since 2007 and is expected to grow further as the division develops.
Previously the successful UK and North American Education Divisions were run separately and due to the growth in the Education Division, all the global brands have now been consolidated under a single management structure. The new structure is divided into four clusters: UK Schools, European Individuals, Language Travel and North American Student.