Silversea’s outgoing UK managing director Lisa McAuley says her decision to leave the cruise line was the “hardest I’ve made in my career”, writes Tom Parry.
McAuley will begin her role as managing director, tour operations, B2B Europe, at dnata Travel on January 9, where she will lead the marketing, trade sales and product and commercial teams across Gold Medal and Travel 2.
Her appointment follows that of John Bevan as dnata Travel’s new chief executive B2B Europe and its new sales director Nick Hughes, of Attraction World.
McAuley told TTG: “I really deliberated over it. Silversea is doing great things and we’re having a really strong time in the UK. There has been a big turnaround in the business and I still felt like there was more I could add, but ultimately the opportunity that presented itself with dnata was just too big.
“I consider myself one of the most trade-facing individuals in this industry. There is a momentum around [dnata Travel] at the moment with the new team coming onboard, so I wanted to be a part of it.”
McAuley said she was not daunted by starting with a team of people so new to their roles. “When you move into a new business, you initially don’t know the people anyway, so I don’t see it as any different to it being [part of] an existing team.”
McAuley added that despite not knowing Bevan or Hughes very well, she could “feel a close bond already forming” and she planned to meet up with them when the opportunity arose.