EasyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren today hired one of the top executives at his former employer, Tui, to be his new finance director and help lead the struggling airline’s fightback from the catastrophic effect of the pandemic on its business.
Kenton Jarvis, 52, will replace Andrew Findlay, who resigned in May, days after surviving an effort by founder and major shareholder Stelios Haji-Ioannou to oust him and other directors.
Jarvis is chief executive of Tui’s Aviation division among other roles and was once finance director of Airtours Holidays, part of MyTravel, which was merged with the now-collapsed Thomas Cook. MyTravel had an accounting debacle which claimed the scalps of several senior directors between 2002 and 2003.
Jarvis joined Tui in 2003 and rose through the ranks to the management board level. EasyJet said he had “proven his ability to drive savings and successful turnaround programmes.”
It added: “This expertise will be critical as easyJet enters a period of recovery from the most severe restrictions of the pandemic.”
EasyJet has been cutting its flights as quarantines hit demand across Europe, although the reductions are less extreme than those of rival Ryanair. The company warned in May that it may need to cut 4500 staff and has announced closures of its bases in Stansted, Southend and Newcastle.
Jarvis’s start date at easyJet is yet to be decided.
EasyJet chairman John Barton said: “He is a candidate of very high calibre bringing with him vast industry experience and highly relevant skills to the role which will prove crucial in the coming months and beyond. I would like to welcome him on behalf of the board of easyJet. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Andrew Findlay for his tremendous contribution over the past five years and continued commitment and support in helping manage the airline through the recent unprecedented challenges.”
Lundgren praised his “depth of knowledge of the travel industry and financial skills.”