Former CEO of Thomas Cook: British government support would have been vital

The former manager apologizes and defends his benefits because he worked “very hard”

The former CEO of Thomas Cook, Peter Frankhauser, explained on Tuesday that the help of the British Government would have secured the tour operator’s restructuring plan and would have done more for the business than simply preventing the collapse.

During the commission of investigation of the British Parliament on the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, Frankhauser has apologized for the fall of the company and has indicated that “he feels deeply that he could not save” the company, in addition to defending that he worked “very hard “to earn his base salary and he did not receive any bonus between 2018 and 2019.

When asked about whether a rescue by the Government would not have simply delayed the inevitable, Fankhauser has assured that if the recapitalization plan had moved on, the company would have been one of the best-funded travel companies in Europe.

In this regard, he considers that after such recapitalization, the company would have had “a new beginning.”

However, he stressed that he would not criticize the Government of the United Kingdom for its decision not to provide support, but that the cost of the collapse was “much higher” than the company requested.

RETURN THE BONUSES

The former manager has also been asked if he will return the bonuses received – the company paid 20 million pounds (22.95 million euros) in bonuses to managers in the last five years – but has reiterated that he worked “tirelessly” since taking office in 2014.

Frankhauser has pointed out that the last bonus received was in 2017, a total of 750,000 pounds (860,568 euros), of which 30% were in the form of shares, “so they could not be recovered.” However, at the insistence of Parliament, he has argued that he will assess “what is right, but not today”, regarding the return of his bonuses.

CONTACTS WITH THE UK GOVERNMENT BEFORE THE BANKRUPTCY

During his speech, Frankhauser has detailed that the company was in “close contact” with government agencies in the United Kingdom, with around 100 meetings in the last year.

According to Fankhauser, this included a meeting with Grant Shapps, transportation secretary, on September 9, who assured him that the banks were seeking additional funding to support the rescue plan.

In the days leading up to his collapse, Thomas Cook “became intensely committed to the Government.” But on Sunday, September 22 – bankruptcy day – the company realized that “it was facing a precipice.”

Fankhauser has detailed that at five in the afternoon of that day he realized that he “had to throw in the towel” when he spoke on the phone with a “senior official” and learned that the Government would not support the plan.