Flight Centre’s David Coombes is currently based in New Jersey as the senior vice president product of Flight Centre USA, and worked his way up after joining the company as a travel consultant in Brisbane, Australia, during 2000.
Coombes spent two and a half years from 2011 as a general manager product in New Zealand, and holds a degree in English Literature from the Australian National University.
“I’m thrilled to be back in New Zealand,” Coombes says. “The existing team is extremely talented and I’m looking forward to bringing all aspects together for the year ahead.”
He will replace Chris Grieve, who announced his departure late last year. Grieve will finish at the end of next month after almost two years as managing director. He has been with Flight Centre for more than 30 years, having previously lead the New Zealand arm of the business from 1990 to 2004. He will continue to be actively involved with the company in an advisory capacity.
Flight Centre executive Rob Flint praised Grieve: “Chris has enjoyed great success in New Zealand during the past two years and we congratulate him on his achievements during this period. We look forward to his continued contribution to the company as he embarks on this next venture.
Grieve says Coombes will take over a strongly-positioned company as the New Zealand travel industry is booming.
“With significant investments made in the last 12 months and a strong focus on innovation, this last year has seen us continue our tradition of growing market share and really cement ourselves as the leading travel retailer in New Zealand.”
Flight Centre’s 11-year-old corporate travel business, FCM Travel Solutions, also introduced its first logo change earlier this month.
Kiwi menswear company Working Style has appointed a new creative director, Karl Clausen, after incumbent Eddie von Dadelszen decided to “spread his wings” and pursue other opportunities. Von Dadelszen had worked for the company for 10 years.
Working Style’s managing director and founder Chris Dobbs says Clausen is a familiar face. He worked with the company from 2002-2007 and set up its first Christchurch branch in Colombo St.
“He’s well accustomed to the Working Style way of life and knows his way around a beautiful suit,” says Dobbs.
Clausen has previously worked with international brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna and Dunhill. He will take over at Working Style this month.
“We are very lucky to have Karl back. He knows so much about our business and the international menswear scene,” Dobbs says.
“Karl was with us at a transformational time and set the business up for the success it now has gained so we are delighted to be putting the band back together and forging ahead.”
Dodds says Working Style has recently begun a “trunk-show service” where it visits clients in Perth and Sydney. He now has his eyes set on continuing the expansion with more regular visits to Australia, Asia and Los Angeles.