Thomas Cook shares plunge after former Premier Farnell boss leaves the firm

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Harriet Green has shocked the City with the announcement of her surprise departure from holiday firm Thomas Cook after just two years in charge.

Her departure left a number of unanswered questions such as whether she was pushed or did she have a new job to go to.

Analysts were left baffled as the group’s share price plunged 19 per cent to 112p as investors struggled to understand why she had departed so early.

Yesterday Ms Green said: “I always said that I would move on to another company with fresh challenges once my work was complete. That time is now.”

Yet only a week ago Ms Green told a Management Today conference that the turnaround was “absolutely not done”.

‘You can’t do a transformation on this sort of scale in a year or two years. I usually say it’s about six years,” she said.

The announcement accompanied a warning that tougher trading conditions in countries including France mean the pace of its recovery will slow down. Thomas Cook said Ms Green had done a “phenomenal job”, but it was always understood she would leave when the main changes had been made.

It added that the decision was entirely mutual and said she wasn’t pushed and she didn’t have another job to go to. Ms Green will receive six months salary and up to £8m in shares. She has been replaced by COO Peter Fankhauser.

Mike O'Connor, chief executive of Leeds-based debt charity Stepchange.

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