Managerial changes at FTI, Alltours, Thomas Cook and TUI

Rene Schaufuss is FTI’s new head of non-German source markets.
Rene Schaufuss is FTI’s new head of non-German source markets.

German tour operators FTI, Alltours, Thomas Cook and TUI have made various senior appointments but also lost managers in the last few weeks.

FTI Group is broadening its management team with the creation of a new position in charge of all source markets outside Germany. FTI Group Managing Director Ralph Schiller explained: “Alongside our core market Germany, the markets of Austria, France, Switzerland and Netherlands are also developing very positively. Therefore, we have created a position to bundle this strategic focus and further development in one central post.”

The group’s new CEO Source Markets is Rene Schaufuss, who joined the German group in October. He was previously Director of Tour Operating with the Primera Travel Group in Copenhagen and held the same position at Scandinavian group tour operator Albatros Travel. He has also worked for Kuoni in Switzerland and Scandinavia, and for Danish firm Larsen Travel.

FTI founder Dietmar Gunz welcomed his arrival to the Munich-based group. “With Rene Schaufuss we have been able to win a proven industry expert in the European tourism business for this new, important position in order to develop successfully our expansion plans in relevant markets.”

Meanwhile, Alltours is reorganising its management structure and has appointed Michael Kalt with responsibility for several departments. The 53-year-old IT specialist will join the tourism group in December and take charge of IT, e-commerce and organisation as well as all commercial activities. In particular, he has been tasked with the group’s digital transformation and e-commerce development. Kalt was finance chief at Traveltainment, helping to develop it into Germany’s leading tourism product and price comparison system before leaving in 2009 to join a travel IT company in Cologne.

“I’m very happy that we were able to win Michael Kalt as a proven expert for this responsible task,” declared Alltours founder Willi Verhuven. “We want to use the digital transformation in the market and in customer behaviour to continue successfully with our growth path.”

However, Alltours is also seeking replacements for two top managers. Sales and marketing chief Mike Hennig will leave the company next March “for purely personal reasons” after just 18 months in the post. In addition, flights director Richard Brodrecht will also leave the group next March for personal reasons. Replacements are being sought for both jobs.

Thomas Cook has promoted Sascha Büsseler to head of Yield & Product for Central Europe under a managerial reorganisation. Already responsible for short-haul products, he is also taking charge of long-haul products and premium brand Signature Finest Selection from Sonja Karl, who will be on maternity leave from December onwards.

TUI Germany’s director of sales strategy, Oliver Beck, will leave the company on December 1 after seven years. His responsibilities will be divided between the tour operator’s sales management team. TUI Germany CEO Marek Andryszak praised Beck’s development of TUI’s travel agency network with 100 new agencies and successful integration of the company’s own travel agencies into the tour operator business.

Elsewhere, experienced tourism professional Peter Wennel will join Maritim Hotels group with responsibility for international expansion. The German group has 47 hotels, including 14 international locations. Wennel has held top management positions at Thomas Cook/Neckermannn, Alltours and Aldiana during a long career in the tourism industry.