Manny Fontenla-Novoa (b. 1954) is the Spanish businessman who built a long career association with Thomas Cook that would see him rising through the ranks to become CEO of the industry giant.
Manny was born in Galicia, Spain before moving to the UK at the age of 11. He began his career in 1972 working for Thomas Cook’s printing department, holding a variety of roles for the company until joining the International Leisure Group (ILG) in 1988 as Director of Operations. In 1991, he co-founded the tour operator Sunworld Ltd and headed its Sales & Marketing division. He returned to Thomas Cook in 1996 after their acquisition of Sunworld, and took up the position of Director of Sales and assistant Managing Director. In 2000 he was promoted to Managing Director Sales and in 2001 he took on the additional role as Managing Director Tour Operator Brands. He became Thomas Cook’s Chief Executive in 2003.
As CEO of Thomas Cook UK, Manny undertook a comprehensive restructuring programme, which led to the re-branding of the tour operator brands (Thomas Cook, JMC, Sunset). In 2005 he joined the Executive Board of Thomas Cook AG, in Oberursel, Germany, and became Chairman of the Board in 2006. After the fusion of Thomas Cook AG with MyTravel in 2007, and the start of the newly formed Thomas Cook Group plc, he was announced as Group CEO, also serving ... as Chairman of the Executive Board. He was responsible for the development of strategy, its implementation and the day-to-day executive management of Thomas Cook Group until his resignation in 2011.
In 2014, Manny made a return to the travel industry with the acquisition of On Holiday Group Accommodation, launching a new ‘bedbank’ called Magic Rooms. He is currently a director of the Spanish Iberostar hotel chain.
Manny was honoured by the British Travel & Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2007.