Former transport secretary Justine Greening to join On The Beach
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On The Beach, the Greater Manchester online travel agent, has appointed Justine Greening, the former Conservative minister, to its board.
Ms Greening, who served as transport secretary for a year during the 2010-15 coalition administration, will join the London-listed company as a non-executive director.
It will be the former MP’s first commercial role since quitting Westminster ahead of the 2019 general election.
OTB’s move to appoint her said her extensive network of relationships in political circles was expected to be an asset to a company which has been caught up in the coronavirus maelstrom.
OTB, which has seen its shares rebound amid hopes of a return to overseas travel in time for the crucial summer holiday season, has become a leading voice in calling for reforms of the industry.
Led by former Co-op boss Richard Pennycook, its chairman, and founder Simon Cooper, chief executive, it positions itself as a consumer champion which advocates the use of trust accounts to protect customers’ money.
That position has become increasingly important as airlines and other travel agents, such as Lastminute.com, have faced excoriating criticism for failing to refund consumers in a timely manner.
Pennycook said: “It is a privilege that Justine has chosen On the Beach as her first corporate Non-Executive Director role and we look forward to working with her and benefiting from her extensive knowledge and expertise.
“As the travel sector recovers from the pandemic, we expect some fairly major reforms to the regulatory landscape. Justine’s experience, in and out of Westminster, will be invaluable as On the Beach navigates these reforms and pursues opportunities to grow our market share both in the UK and internationally.”
Greening added: “I am excited to be joining the Board of On the Beach at a time when the UK’s vaccine rollout continues apace, and consumers can look forward to the prospect of going on holiday again.
“Simon and his team have built a great business which puts the consumer at the forefront of everything that they do and I look forward to working with him, Richard and the wider Board as On the Beach continues on its mission to be Europe’s leading online retailer of beach holidays.”