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Reynolds talks of desire for new challenge

Cox and Kings Australia chief executive Steve Reynolds has revealed that a desire for a new challenge was behind his decision to bring the curtain down on a career with Tempo Holidays and its parent company which spanned more than a decade.

Reynolds revealed yesterday that he will step down in June with Greg Osborne, who heads the New Zealand business, set to take over.

Reynolds told Travel Today he will join another travel firm towards the end of June in a role “that I am really passionate and excited about”.

But he declined to divulge the identity of his new employers or the position he will take until staff at the firm had been informed of his appointment.

“Ten years is a long time to spend with one company, albeit one that has seen a lot of changes during that time,” Reynolds said of his decision to quit C&K.

“It is a business in a good state so I feel I am not leaving a mess behind.

“It’s fair to say it is my natural instinct to be challenged in the environment in which I operate and that is probably the driving force.

“It has been at the back of my mind [to move on] for a little while and I have had open discussions with the board about a succession plan. The board has been very supportive.”

Reynolds said the appointment of Greg Osborne to head C&K Australia was the logical and natural choice.

The existing culture and strategy will continue under his stewardship, he added.

“I have always valued his input and we share the same philosophy,” Reynolds said.

After joining Tempo – then a stand alone company and brand – as general manager product and e-commerce, Reynolds moved through the ranks to become chief executive of Cox and Kings Australia when the Anglo/Indian company acquired Melbourne-based Tempo in 2008.

It has since acquired Bentours and Explore Worldwide.

Reynolds acknowledged that the Australian industry is almost unrecognisable from the one he joined from the UK a little over 10 years ago.

He singled out the soaring “turnaround” expectations of the customer as among the greatest changes and challenges.

“Customers used to walk into a travel agent and wait for faxes to change hands. They now want instant gratification,” he said.



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