Carrier promotes Rick Milne amid ‘strategic changes’ to leadership team

Luxury tour operator Carrier has promoted Rick Milne to sales and commercial director as part of “strategic changes to its leadership team”.

Milne (pictured left) takes on the role having joined as sales manager in 2009, becoming head of sales and part of the leadership team in 2011 and then taking on responsibility for all sales channels in 2018.

The team changes also see Lee Marshall (pictured right) take up a permanent role with Carrier as head of trade partnerships, having worked on a consultancy basis for the operator for the past three years.

Recruitment is currently under way for a new head of product. The concierge team has also been expanded.

Managing director Natasha Towey credited Milne with consistently growing Carrier’s sales and profitability, with 2023 being the operator’s most successful trading performance in its 30-year history.

The changes to the structure aim to help “improve collaboration” between sales, product and marketing.

Towey said: “Sales, product and marketing are the main functions driving demand and revenue into the business.

“Our aim is to improve collaboration between these three areas with an overarching commercial focus that will not only improve our creativity and teamwork internally, but will ensure we deliver a cohesive approach for our trade partners, equipping them with the right product, the right marketing messages, in the right format, at the right time.

“With his wealth of industry expertise and strong leadership skills, Rick will act as a cross-functional lead bringing these three critical functions together to align our strategic goals and plans.”

Milne added: “I’m thrilled to not only fulfil personal aspirations with this role but having been at Carrier for 15 years I am emotionally invested in the company’s success and can’t wait to help shape our commercial approach.

“I’ll be working closely with Natasha and the other department heads to bring our strategic partners even closer to the business, while ensuring our sales, product and marketing plans support all our booking channels.”

Speaking about Marshall’s new permanent position at Carrier, Towey said: “In order for Rick to take on this expanded remit, I am so happy to have Lee Marshall join Carrier on a permanent basis as head of trade partnerships.

“Lee has been consulting for us for the last three years, but from day one quickly became a much-loved part of our family.

“Along with the rest of our agency sales team, he has been pivotal in helping us grow trade sales to record-breaking levels. While Rick will continue to manage our highly valued strategic partnerships and oversee our trade channel, our B2B strategy and agent partners could not be in better hands with Lee, and I’m thrilled to welcome him to our leadership team.”

Marshall has more than 30 years of experience in tour operating, having worked for Thomas Cook Signature, Gold Medal and ITC Travel Group.

Marshall added: “I feel privileged to have been invited to join Carrier’s leadership team and I’m energised to play an active role in shaping the future; something I feel incredibly passionate about.

“Over the last three years, I’ve seen first-hand what a truly incredible business Carrier really is – considered, intelligent and genuinely caring about its people and its customers. For me, it feels like the last 30 years have been leading up to this moment.”

To support agents and ensure the brand continues to grow, Carrier said it was also investing in its concierge team. Two new concierges have joined the team which is now led by Lorraine Norcross, who takes up the new role of concierge manager.

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