Debbie O’Neill has named as the first female managing director of Jules Verne in the company’s 44 year history.
She takes over from Francis Torrilla, who held the role for five years at the small group escorted tour specialist, part of Kuoni parent Der Touristik UK.
Promoted to general manager last April, O’Neill has led Jules Verne through the introduction of sales via the trade.
She said: “2023 has been great for Jules Verne and everyone across the business.
“Not only have bookings been strong but since launching to the trade, there has been a renewed energy in the office, it’s been wonderful to see.”
She added: “I’m thrilled to be stepping into the role of managing director. As the first female MD, I’m really looking forward to bringing a new outlook and perspective to everything we do.
“I will reimagine the future with a focus on connecting people, while ensuring I build a strong and successful organisation for our guests, team members and partners who we value so dearly.
“Furthermore, I hope that this appointment shows other women that they can be leaders in this world too – I truly believe anything is possible.”
Francis Torrilla, managing director of specialist businesses, said: “Debbie’s experience in the business and the skills she has acquired in helping people to achieve their full potential makes her the perfect candidate to take Jules Verne on its next voyage.”