Holiday Extras restructures for continued growth

Holiday Extras, the UK and European market leader for holiday add-ons, announces a major re-organisation

Matthew Pack takes on the role of Holiday Extras Group CEO

Matthew Pack, who has been CEO of Holiday Extras for six years, takes on the role of Group CEO.

Simon Hagger, CEO of the Shortbreaks division, joins the UK Holiday Extras distribution executive team.

Cathy Beare, who has been Group CFO since 2009, also joins the UK Holiday Extras distribution executive team as the Group converges.

Since joining Holiday Extras Web team in 2003, Pack has spearheaded the company’s web and mobile presence. Most notably, he has driven booking volume through a growing customer database as well as via search engines. By implementing an iterative approach to usability and web design he has made it easier for customers to buy everything they need for their holiday.

He has also driven key business changes including moving mission critical systems to The Cloud, introducing an ahead-of-trend flexible working programme called Anytime, Anywhere and the acquisition of Essential Travel in 2014.

Matthew has kept a watchful eye on opportunities in Europe. This new, tighter structure, with mutually supportive components, sees Holiday Extras poised to grow, expand and dominate its sector throughout the UK and Europe.

Holiday Extras also welcomes Jeremy Pack, Matthew’s brother, to join the group board as a non-executive director. Jeremy’s experience with the multi-channel network, Channel Flip, alongside his knowledge of the Holiday Extras brand will support the business’ ambitious brand and media campaigns.

Matthew commented: Holiday Extras is an exciting company filled with talented people. I’m delighted to have been chosen to lead the Holiday Extras Group.

“A big part of my job is to introduce innovations that will help to make travel easier for our customers. 2015 will be a breakthrough year for the company as we continue to invest in people and build new technologies.”

Cathy Beare said: “I'm looking forward to working closer with Matthew and to facilitating the roll out of new systems whilst bringing all of the elements of the Holiday Extras group closer as we expand in Europe.”

Simon Hagger commented: "It's great to join the Distribution Executive board, which enables the Holiday Extras group to leverage our expertise, technology and innovation. It brings a unified approach to our customer focus across all areas of the company.”

Finally, as part of the restructure Steve Lawrence, the former Group CEO who has built the company for over twenty years, will remain with the business as a non-executive.  

Steve Lawrence added: "Over the last twenty years the business has grown from strength to strength to become the recognised market leader for add ons throughout Europe. Its success comes from its growing loyal customer base, its dedicated team, its broadening range of products and its focus on technology.  

"This reorganisation will help accelerate the business' growth across Europe, further enhancing what makes it a Sunday Times top 10 place to work. In my new role as a non-executive, I am looking forward to continuing to work with the team I have built and led over the last two decades. They are highly talented and well placed to deliver the next step of the business' growth."

Since launching in 1983, Holiday Extras has grown into an award winning multi-million pound business, with a 300 million pound turnover, a team of over 700 people in the UK and Germany, and making arrangements for more than six million travellers every year.


Cathy Beare

Cathy's role has grown with the business; under her guidance the company has experienced exponential growth (£40m turnover to £300m).  She will continue to deliver innovative financial support to Holiday Extras in its mission to make travel easier for its customers.  Cathy thrives on being at the centre of the business be it acquisitions, projects or growing organically in European markets.

Simon Hagger

Simon has grown the Shortbreaks business from a standing start 10 years ago to a profitable business with a turnover in excess of £45m.  The business is now very much a full service operator with expertise in web & mobile development, digital distribution alongside all the commercial areas.

In the last two years Simon’s focus has been on agreeing a new longer term deal with Merlin Entertainments for servicing the UK parks and he has led the launch, funding and operations of miDrive and he Recently recruited Scott Taylor as CEO of miDrive.  Simon’s next mission is to extend the Shortbreaks’ offering and build from this base, being on the Group Board and Distribution Exec board enables this to happen by contributing to the overall HX Group growth strategy.

Matthew Pack

Matthew’s drive and vision for the business is an inspiration. He sets the standard for the team, and they are motivated and driven to produce the best results.

As CEO, Matthew says that his role is to represent the customer at and to ensure that customers have a rewarding experience, harnessing the latest technology to make booking travel add-ons hassle-free.

Jeremy Pack

Jeremy is a producer with a proven track record for delivering and creating successful brand campaigns for the likes of Dr Pepper, Oreo, Nerf, British Gas, Blackberry, Alienware and The British Red Cross.

He has a degree in Interactive Media Production from Bournemouth University and 5 years of experience in video production.

Steve Lawrence

Twenty years ago Steve joined Holiday Extras (then called Apple Booking Company or ABC) as marketing director. Back then the business was turning over £4m.

In 2005, Steve led a management buyout and the business extended to Germany and diversified into short breaks.  Those businesses now contribute some 20% of earnings.  More recently Holiday Extras seed funded a start up, miDrive.

In October 2007 Steve headed the acquisition of Holiday Extras’ major competitor, BCP. This almost doubled the size of the business. This growth formed the basis of the Holiday Extras Group of companies, of which Steve became Group CEO, with four profit center CEO’s running each of the businesses. The CEO’s performed so well that Steve was able to move into the role of Deputy Chairman in 2014, the objective; double the size of the business again! He also became Chairman of miDrive. Steve will remain a non executive of the Holiday Extras Group of companies.





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