Culhane, who has headed the company’s finances since November 1999, will be replaced by David Howell, former group finance director of First Choice Holidays. Howell’s appointment will take effect immediately and he is also to join lastminute’s executive board.
According to a company spokesman, Culhane’s background is mergers and acquisitions and he is leaving because ‘he now wants to go back to a job where M&A is full time’.
Lastminute’s chief executive Brent Hoberman said: ‘Julian has done a great job since he joined lastminute.com in November 1999, taking the company through a successful initial public offering and the acquisition of Degriftour [a French online travel agent].
‘We are now delighted to welcome David who brings first class skills as a quoted company finance director together with extensive experience of the travel and package holiday sectors.’
The company said in May that it expects to break even in France and the UK, its core markets, within a year and that its cash burn rate is slowing down. Earlier this year lastminute cut 10% of its staff. Revenues for the quarter ending March 31 were below expectations, but pre-tax losses were lower compared with the previous quarter.
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