Virgin brand chief Lisa Thomas to leave amid restructure

Thomas: leaving Virgin after almost five years
Thomas: leaving Virgin after almost five years

Changes will bring Virgin Red loyalty programme closer to Virgin brand.

Virgin global chief brand officer and Virgin Enterprises managing director Lisa Thomas is leaving the group amid a leadership restructure.

Thomas, who has been in the role since 2016, will not be replaced. Virgin's loyalty programme, Virgin Red, and the Virgin brand are being brought closer together under a single leader.

Virgin Red chief executive Andrew Swaffield has been appointed chief commercial officer for Virgin Group in addition to his existing role. 

Meanwhile Holly Branson, chair of not-for-profit Virgin Unite and daughter of Sir Richard Branson, will be joining the senior team as chief purpose and vision officer in addition to her existing role.

Thomas founded customer engagement agency Lida in 1999 and was chief executive until 2010. She later became chairman at the agency in addition to her role as group chief executive at Lida parent M&C Saatchi.

Commenting on Thomas' departure, Josh Bayliss, Virgin's chief executive, said: "Lisa joined the Virgin Group at the beginning of 2016 and since then she has continued to build the Virgin brand into a force for good.

"Lisa has created a remarkable team of people to develop and deliver our brand strategy. She has also been instrumental in leading a number of initiatives focused on gender diversity. After five years with the business, Lisa has decided it's time to consider the next stage of her career. I would like to thank her for her outstanding contribution and wish her the very best for the future."

Nick Fox, chief communications officer, will also be leaving at the end of 2020 after 13 years with the brand. Tamara Bennett, director of communications, will lead the communications team on an interim basis.

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