On the Beach Group announces that Simon Cooper, the Group’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer will step down from his role within the next 12 months.
The Board has announced that Shaun Morton, currently the Group’s Chief Financial Officer, has been chosen by the Board to replace Simon as Group CEO. The timing of Shaun’s appointment as CEO is dependent on the recruitment of an experienced CFO to work alongside Shaun to deliver the Group’s growth strategy. Upon stepping down as CEO, Simon will remain on the Board as a non-executive Founder Director.
Shaun joined On the Beach in February 2018 and was appointed CFO in July 2020. During his time at On the Beach, Shaun has been instrumental in guiding the Group through COVID, leading on strategic initiatives including the investment in our brand, technology and customer proposition and our decision to capture share in the Premium, Long Haul and B2B segments. Since his appointment as CFO, Shaun has worked very closely with Simon on all operational and commercial aspects of the business, including the evolution of the strategy, which will ensure a seamless transition when he assumes the role of CEO.
Simon founded On the Beach in 2004 and has grown the business into one of the UK’s leading online beach holiday retailers. When he takes up his new role as Founder Director, Simon will remain actively involved in the business and continue to work closely with Shaun. Simon remains a significant shareholder in On the Beach, having increased his stake on 19 August 2022.
The Board has appointed external consultants to support with a search process for a new CFO and will provide an update as and when appropriate.
Richard Pennycook, Chair of On the Beach Group plc, commented: “I am delighted that Shaun has agreed to succeed Simon as CEO of On the Beach. Shaun’s diligent approach to the Group’s finances through the pandemic has ensured we exited Covid with a strong balance sheet and this stands us in good stead as we look to the next growth phase. I have worked closely with Shaun since becoming Chair and I share Simon’s confidence in Shaun’s excellent leadership credentials and have no doubt that he is the right person to lead OTB onto the next chapter.
“The Board and business as a whole will continue to benefit from Simon’s deep knowledge of the company he has built, the technology that drives it and the wider travel environment in his Founder Director role and I look forward to working with him in this capacity.”
Simon Cooper, Chief Executive of On the Beach Group, commented: “On the Beach has had an amazing journey in the 18 years since I founded it and I feel that now is the right time to hand over the reins to my successor. I am confident that Shaun is the right person to guide On the Beach through the next phase of growth and take advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.
“Everyone that works in the travel industry has experienced immense change over the past few years and with the travel industry now returning to pre-Covid levels, I have every confidence in On the Beach continuing to be a success and look forward to transitioning to my new Founder Director role once the right CFO candidate has been selected.”
Shaun Morton, CEO designate, said: “I am honoured and excited to take over from Simon as CEO of On the Beach, a company that he started from nothing nearly two decades ago. The travel industry is constantly evolving and I am confident that On the Beach’s flexible model will continue to win market share while delivering excellent value for our customers. The strategy that we as a senior leadership have put in place is the right one and having Simon remain with the Group in his Founder Director role will be invaluable as we execute against this strategy.”