BU alumni online event - Leadership Track with John Donaldson
Leading through change
Thursday 11th March, 8.30-9.30am
John studied for an HND in Business Studies (Travel and Tourism) in 1968/70 at what was then Bournemouth College of Technology – the forerunner to Bournemouth University. At the time this was the first travel and tourism course in the UK.
John retired last year after nearly 50 years in the travel and tourism industry. He started his career on a two-year graduate training programme at Aer Lingus, where he stayed for 10 years, latterly as Regional Manager for London and South East. In 1980 he moved to American Express where he set up the first UK corporate travel sales team. He then moved to be General Manager of the American Express representative in Saudi Arabia where he led an aircraft ground handling, freight forwarding and travel business for three years.
On returning to American Express he was appointed Vice President Service Establishments of the UK card business.
In 1988 he moved to Thomas Cook where, over a 13-year period, he led most parts of the business in both travel and financial services. In 1998 he was appointed Group Chief Executive, where he led a demerger of the travel and financial services businesses and sale to Condor Neckermann and Travelex respectively.
Following the sale of Thomas Cook, John built a second career working with mid-market Private Equity funds to identify attractive investment opportunities which he went on to Chair. Over 19 years John was Chairman of 11 PE-backed businesses in the valuation range of £25m to £500m.
In this talk, John will be speaking about leadership and sharing some of the lessons he has learned and the experiences he has had over his long career.
This free event is kindly sponsored by Grapevine, a provider of business technology and communications services across the South of England.