Ryanair recruits first marketing officer in management shake-up
Appointment of Kenny Jacobs likely to see Michael O’Leary step back from spokesman role
The changes mark the first senior management reorganisation at the airline since it floated on the Irish Stock Exchange in 1997, Michael O’Leary said. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Ryanair is appointing its first chief marketing officer in a management shake-up designed to underpin changes at the airline that is seeking to boost its public image and improve customer service to attract more passengers.
The carrier announced a number of management changes yesterday, the most significant of which is the appointment of Kenny Jacobs as its first chief marketing officer.
A Cork native, Mr Kenny will join Ryanair on January 31st from British financial services comparison website Moneysupermarket, where he holds the same role.
Most of his experience is in retail. He has held senior positions with Tesco in the Republic and Britain. Prior to that he worked for German group Metro in several marketing roles in Europe and Asia.
He will have overall responsibility for marketing, public relations and communications at the airline, whose chief executive Michael O’Leary last September announced sweeping changes that included overhauling its website and improving customer service.
The appointment also signals that Mr O’Leary is likely to follow through on his promise to step back from acting as Ryanair chief spokesman. It is understood a substantial part of that role will fall to Mr Jacobs.
Mr O’Leary said yesterday the changes marked the first senior management reorganisation at the airline since it floated on the Irish Stock Exchange in 1997.
While he has said Ryanair’s new approach is a response to the fact that rivals such as EasyJet are catching up with the airline, it is also part of a drive to attract new customers to fill the 175 new aircraft the airline will start bringing into service from September.
The company wants to grow passenger numbers from 81 million a year at present to 110 million over the next five years.