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Kuoni adopts new group structure

Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd. is to adopt a new group structure that according to the company will enable it to focus even more strongly on the needs of its markets and its customers. The present geographically-based…

Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd. is to adopt a new group structure that according to the company will enable it to focus even more strongly on the needs of its markets and its customers. The present geographically-based organisation is being transformed into a business-driven divisional structure that is suited to today’s industry trends.

The new structure is centred on three new Strategic Business Divisions – SBD Style (for brand and service-driven products), SBD Smart (for vacations that primarily offer outstanding value for money) and SBD Destinations (for local land arrangements) – which are headed by Reto Wilhelm, Stefan Leser and Rolf Schafroth respectively.

The Kuoni Group Executive Board consists with immediate effect of CEO Armin Meier, CFO Max E. Katz and the three Division Heads.

Kuoni is transforming its present region- and country-based organisation today into one that is centred on three Strategic Business Divisions or SBDs. Each of the new divisions is home to a set of brands with similar business and product credentials, and will strive to employ these brands to achieve market leadership within its business segment.

SBD Style accommodates all those Kuoni Group activities whose focus is on top-class customer service and the closest possible alignment to specific customer needs. The division is home to the core Kuoni brand and to all the Kuoni Group’s further specialist brands that are a byword for tailored customer focus. In overall charge of SBD Style is Reto Wilhelm.

SBD Smart, which is headed by Stefan Leser, embraces all those Kuoni Group products that primarily offer value for money. SBD Smart is thus home to the Apollo, Helvetic Tours and Reisen Netto brands and to the group’s two airlines, Edelweiss Air and Novair. The products of SBD Smart will be distributed via trade channels but also (and increasingly) via the Internet and direct sales.

SBD Destinations, of which Rolf Schafroth is in overall charge, accommodates all the Kuoni Group’s destination management products and activities, including organising and advising on land arrangements for groups and individual travellers, M.I.C.E. (meetings, incentives, conferences and events), special tours and sports events. These services will be offered to international tour operators, retailers and congress and conference organisers, and also to Kuoni’s own tour operating units.

The new Kuoni Group organisation also includes a further new entity: Business Unit Spirit, which is home to innovative business models such as Shoestring International and (above all) to businesses and activities that show strong growth potential and use product innovations to achieve and enhance their competitive edge. Business Unit Spirit is headed by Fons Brusselmans, who reports to Stefan Leser.

The heads of the three Strategic Business Divisions will serve on the Kuoni Group Executive Board, together with Group CEO Armin Meier and Group CFO Max E. Katz. The newly-composed Group Executive Board enters immediate effect. The existing Group Management Board is being dissolved, and will be replaced by the new top management bodies within each division. No workforce reductions are envisaged.

Remo Masala joined Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd. as Head of Branding & Marketing on June 1. A 41-year-old Italian national, Masala is a proven specialist in the branding field who can draw on over 15 years of experience in brand management and branding strategy development. In his new capacity, in which he will report directly to Group CEO Armin Meier, he will be responsible for further developing Kuoni’s groupwide brand portfolio in each specific business segment, together with the SBDs concerned and their constituent business units.

The Kuoni Switzerland organisation with its various brands will be prepared for assimilation into the new SBDs over the next twelve months. Roberto Luna, Managing Director of Kuoni Switzerland, will report to Stefan Leser with immediate effect.

Kuoni UK will be assimilated into SBD Style, headed by Reto Wilhelm, with immediate effect. Sue Biggs is stepping down as Managing Director with immediate effect. Kuoni UK will be led by Mark Norman, who has been with the company for 7 years, on an interim basis. Details of Sue Biggs permanent successor will be communicated at a later date. The Group Executive Board thanks Sue Biggs for all the work, enthusiasm and commitment that she has brought to Kuoni over the past 25 years, and offers her every good wish for the future.