Ryanair executive turmoil continues as Jacobs quits

Ryanair executive turmoil continues as Jacobs quits

The turmoil surrounding Ryanair’s management structure has continued with the airline set to lose another key executive, chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs.

The chief architect of the airline’s ‘Always Getting Better’ campaign — which undertook an overhaul of its customer service and digital sales operations — Mr Jacobs will leave the company in April, after six years.

He follows the recent departure of chief operating officer, Peter Bellew.

Ryanair group boss, Michael O’Leary, said Ryanair’s website and digital presence has been “transformed” since Mr Jacobs joined the company.

Mr O’Leary said Mr Jacobs championed many of Ryanair’s customer service improvements, “which has underpinned our successful growth and evolution.”

Over the period, Ryanair has boosted the proportion of its revenue earned from optional extras, such as assigned seating and additional baggage, from just over 20% to just over 30%.

Ryanair is shifting to a group structure, appointing chief executives to lead several smaller subsidiaries, with each reporting to Mr O’Leary as group chief executive.

Mr Jacobs’ departure comes just over a month after the High Court rejected an attempt by Ryanair to stop Mr Bellew from joining its chief rival, EasyJet, until 2021, ruling that a 12-month non-compete clause was unenforceable.

Mr Jacobs said he will enjoy a break before looking for his next challenge, adding that he will continue to be a customer and “a big supporter of Ryanair.”

Ryanair shares fell by over 2%. However, the stock has gained nearly 40% in the past 12 months.

Ryanair, last week, said strong third-quarter revenues were boosted by ancillary items, like priority boarding and assigned seating.

The company said bookings for the current quarter are up by around 1% year-on-year, leading it to expect its total profit for the 12 months to the end of March would be in and around the midway point of its €950m-€1.05bn guidance range.

The airline also warned that reaching its target of 200m passengers per year could take up to two years longer than anticipated — and may not happen until 2026 — due to delays in receiving its first tranche of Boeing 737-Max aircraft deliveries.

- Additional reporting, Reuters

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