Midcounties Co-operative Travel has appointed a new head of product and commercial, as Julie Kendrick prepares to step down from the business.
Former Affinion International Travel director Mark Mitchell will take up his new role on 29 July and be based at Midcounties’ regional head office in Walsall, reporting into chief operating officer, Rad Sofronijevic.
He will head up the commercial and product function for the travel division, which includes Co-operative Travel – a network of 58 high street agencies, Co-op Travel Consortium – a group of 70 independent travel agencies, The Personal Travel Agents at Co-operative Travel – Midcounties Co-operative’s homeworking brand with 160 homeworkers, and lead the growth of the Co-op Holidays programme.
Mitchell said he was "very excited to have joined one of the best and most respected travel groups in the country".
Sofronijevic said: “I am delighted to welcome Mark to Midcounties Co-operative. He’s a familiar, friendly face in the industry and brings with him a wealth of experience and commercial acumen that will drive our business forward."
To bolster its marketing and commercial travel teams Midcounties is also currently recruiting for a marketing manager and a commercial manager.
Kendrick will leave her position as head of commercial and marketing at the end of next month, following a handover to Mitchell.
She has held the role for eight of her 21-year tenure with the Co-operative Travel Trading Group and will leave "in order to pursue personal interests", Midcounties said.
“I am very sad to be bidding farewell to Midcounties Co-operative but the time feels right for me to take a step back for a period to focus on my personal pursuits,” she said.
“I am extremely proud of the team I have built and of everything we have achieved together since I took the role with Midcounties Co-operative in 2012. Having joined United Co-op, aged 21, I’ve enjoyed an incredible 30-year career in the travel industry and would like to thank Alistair Rowland for his unwavering support in that time.”
Alistair Rowland, chief retail officer for specialist business at Midcounties Co-operative, added: "Julie is one of the best commercial leaders in the business and I have had the pleasure to work alongside her for almost 20 years.
"Most recently, Julie was pivotal in creating the commercial environment to allow Co-op Travel to be rebuilt in the Midcounties Co-operative way, a business that now transacts over £400m. She remains hugely respected in the marketplace and we wish her well with whatever she chooses to do next.”