Ryanair hires Moneysupermarket executive to boost image

DUBLIN Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:36am EST

DUBLIN Jan 17 (Reuters) - Ryanair has hired the marketing chief from British price comparison website Moneysupermarket.com to lead efforts to boost its image after it was voted the worst of the 100 biggest brands serving the UK market by consumer magazine Which?

Kenny Jacobs, a 40-year-old Irishman best known in the industry for spearheading the "You're so Moneysupermaket" television advertising campaign, will take up the newly created role of chief marketing officer at Ryanair.

The budget airline, Europe's largest carrier by passenger numbers, has traditionally had a relatively small marketing budget for an airline of its size and has relied instead on appearances by its charismatic chief executive Michael O'Leary.

But O'Leary has indicated his brash style might be a liability as the company seeks to broaden its appeal and target business travellers.

Ryanair on Friday also confirmed the promotion of former director of operations David O'Brien as chief commercial officer in what it described as the biggest management reshuffle since the company's 1997 stock market flotation.

Of nine roles filled in the shake-up, eight were taken up by internal candidates.

Jacobs and O'Brien will between them replace long-standing deputy chief executive Michael Cawley, who is to step down in March. Fellow deputy chief executive Howard Millar will become O'Leary's sole deputy.

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